One of my favorite bloggers just got hired to write a twice weekly advice column for The Daily. While I'm happy for her success, she is the epitome of why The Daily will fail.
The blog is called Lenny Bruce. If that's too obscure, then picture someone who would make George Carlin sit down and take notes. She's equal parts funny, insightful, and obscene.. It's an advice blog run anonymously by a female version of
She announced this past week that she had accepted a position as an advice columnist with The Daily. SHe wasn't going to give up her blog, but she wanted us to follow her other work, too. Hiring her was a smart move, I'll agree. But unless they get an exclusive, I don't think it was worth the money.
If you take her work as a whole you'll see that The Daily can only provide the smallest part, and the rest is available online for free. Why would I pay for a fraction of what I'm already getting for free?
Now expand this argument to cover news reporting. The Daily is charging for a tiny fraction of what I can get each day for free. Why would I pay for it?
Exclusivity is the key. Offer me something I can't get elsewhere, and then it will be worth paying for.
The reason some paywalls work and others do not depends on whether a paywall protects exclusive content. The Financial Times, The Daily Variety, and other specialized publications can succeed with charging for access because they can provide content that you can't get elsewhere. OTOH, The Daily is an ordinary newspaper, and it competes with the rest of the web.
Until and unless The Daily can cover a niche exclusively, I don't see how it will succeed.
What do you think?
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