I could download music for “free” online, I could use peer to peer networks etc, but it takes time & quite a lot of effort to find what I want and the results aren’t always that good. So while I could get all my music for free, I instead pay for it all. Why? well for a start it’s legal (but let’s ignore that aspect for now), but mainly because “free” isn’t actually “free”, it takes a lot of my time to get what I want via peer to peer, so while I’m not handing over my hard earned reddies for the files, I am spending my time and that’s a far more valuable commodity, as I can’t get that back once I’ve spent it!
So using a service such as iTunes, in real terms actually costs me less! as I get what I want, when I want it, in a format that I want, that is convenient for me! and that last bit is the key, “convenient for me!”
Free news content spread out all across the internet is fine, but I have to invest my time & effort to get at it, so it’s not actually free! But that’s how I choose to get my news! why? because unlike iTunes that makes it convenient for me to get the music I want, news organisations make it difficult, they don’t want to play together, they insist on my coming to their individual uncoordinated websites, delivering content in formats that are no good to me, I want my news my way, I want it on my eBook reader, my mobile, my laptop, my TV, my handheld device, whatever I want, whenever I want it and in whatever format that’s good for me! Rather than embracing this approach, they’re afraid & running away from an iTunes equivalent for news, they don’t want to make it convenient for me the user, they want to make it convenient for themselves. If they continue with this insular view & down this route they will choke themselves, just like the music industry did.
This is exactly what we’re trying to do with no paper. As we say, the future isn’t newspapers! it’s news with no paper™, but they don’t want to change, they want to find ways to carry on producing tonnes on paper based content paid for with a shrinking advertising revenue, then when they see that isn’t working, they then bizarrely think that online advertising will support their online efforts, but it won’t! It’s all about delivering content with value worth paying for, it’s about being customer centric, it’s about good user experiences, it’s about ease of use, and most of all in this time constrained world, it’s about convenience for me! it has to be simple, a no brainer to use and all about me!
As I said, I pay for my music using iTunes because it’s convenient, I’d happily pay for my news content in the same way, so will millions of others!
Watch this space!