Is the IndyStar in Hospice Now

Indianapolis Star Content Access LimitsI was reminded recently about a post I’ve been meaning to share recently. It’s about all the recent changes with the local newspaper, the Indy Star moving to an online subscription program business model and walling up their content. The new model increases subscription rates (about $24/mnth) on hard copy edition subscribers and also provides an unlimited online and digital access option for $12/mnth. If you don’t want to pay for either subscription, you’ll still be able to get to most of the content online, but you’ll be limited to access 20 articles per 30 day period. I’m assuming this would be tracked with some sort of cookie and therefore I wonder if erasing your cookies or using a different browser would circumvent that restriction.

I think the biggest problem though is I don’t think I’ll ever get close to reading 20 articles per month. I just don’t go there for my local news. Part of me thinks that given the current awareness and understanding level of the average citizen, actual news should be as free and easily accessible as possible. Perhaps put the limit on the other categories of entertainment news, living articles and editorials.

Here’s my idea though. With devices like the iPad, Kindle Fire, Kindle and smart phones, why not make it much more affordable for people to subscribe to digital content or potentially even offer it free. The audience for the content that was normally found in a newspaper is still out there, they’re just not going to a newspaper for it. Make it easy to distribute your content to these devices and engage your readers with the same insight and local flavor you’ve always done. By grabbing those local eyes, and potentially even more, shift your advertising efforts to online advertising.

You should be saving money on production and delivery costs and decreasing your time to distribute breaking news, making it much more valuable. You can’t tell me the advertising online is worth less than what you were charging for printed ads in the paper, and it should cost you less. Embrace the change to digital and push your content out more and cheaper, don’t make it more expensive.