Magical European Papers Are Not Failing Miserably
Hey whoa what is this, it seems that some newspaper companies in Europe are not doing too bad? How is this possible? They have a secret:
And that secret is, "Make money on something besides newspapers." Yea, they're newspaper companies, but really they're Jenny Craig and ESPN.com all in one!
VG Nett [in Norway], like most newspaper Web sites, generates most of its revenue from advertising, but is starting to raise money from users. About 150,000 people pay up to 599 crowns, or nearly $90, a year for a weight-loss club. VG Nett recently started charging up to 780 crowns a year for live streams of soccer matches. And a social network connected with VG Nett charges users to upgrade their profiles. Access to news, however, remains free.
News: your loss leader! Of course, this is a strictly European phenomenon. It'll only work in countries with lots of fat people and sports fanatics. American publishers will keep searching for their own solution. [NYT]