Why pay for something when you can get it for free? Since the dawn of the Internet, there has been so much free information available online that many consumers have come to expect it, much to the chagrin of newspapers and magazines.
Recently, though, there has been movement toward paid subscribership to these online entities. And after some initial resistance, the model seems to be paying off.
Newspapers are especially vulnerable
The onslaught of free news and information online has hit newspapers particularly hard. In an effort to stay prominent, many have posted articles on the Internet for free, which has hurt their print products. Some, however, like The New York Times
According to figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, News Corp.'s
The Journal has had a content paywall in place for several years, which probably has helped the paper maintain its top spot. The Times instituted the model only last year, but has so far had excellent results, with a 73% rise in weekday readership from a year prior. Interestingly, the increase was directly attributable to paid online subscriptions acquired after the paywall was put up.
Getting what you pay for
The evidence shows that selling subscriptions, once unheard of with digital formats, can prop up companies that have lost ground due to the plethora of free digital content. I believe that it's only a matter of time until other companies follow suit. Most notably, the Washington Post
Bottom line: Disruptive technologies like the Internet have driven enormous changes in consumer behavior -- and many old media companies have fallen by the wayside as a result. Getting in on the ground floor of a revolutionary disruptive technology doesn't come often for investors, but luckily our analysts at the Fool have discovered an emerging technology that is poised to disrupt in much the same way as the Internet. Our free video report will outline this new technology, one that could very well end the "Made in China" era as we know it.
Fool contributor Amanda Alix owns no shares in the companies mentioned above.
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