Do Paywalls Ever Make Sense?

PaywallThere was a recent article at Arstechnica.Com describing how The Times in the U.K. ended up cutting its web traffic in half by simply requiring registration so that viewers could read their articles. Prior to this, the articles on the site were freely available. The registration requirement is in anticipation of their future paywall plans.

I have to admit that I’m one of the people who left their site more than once when I clicked on a link and was presented with the registration requirement. I’ve done the same thing on other newspaper sites as well. Will people pay for online news?

At its essence, news is often glorified gossip.

There are plenty of successful paywall sites. Here are three sites that incorporate paywalls that I personally find worthwhile enough subscribe to: Netflix.Com,  Rushlimbaugh.Com and FHU.Com.

Netflix began life as a DVD rental service and most recently added a very popular streaming service as value-added subscriber benefit behind a paywall. The Netflix streaming service helped convince me to sign up and become a customer, as well as the availability of Blu-Ray discs. If Netflix had DVD’s only, I wouldn’t be a subscriber. Streaming and Blu-Ray make me willing to open my wallet.

Rushlimbaugh.Com puts the site’s massive and growing archive behind a paywall that includes access to the Rush Limbaugh podcast version of his radio show where they perform the courtesy of cutting out all of the network ads. Being able to receive the ad-free podcast of the daily Rush Limbaugh radio program is why I subscribe. I rarely sign into the site and go behind the paywall. I want the ad-free daily podcast, so I pay, even though I could get the program for free by listening on the radio.

FHU.Com also puts a massive and growing archive of radio programs, books and video behind a paywall. I want access to this material, and since it’s a charitable organization, I am willing to donate to gain access behind the paywall and support them.

I don’t envision myself ever paying for access to a newspaper website. I have never subscribed to a printed newspaper. I used to subscribe to a number of printed computer, stereo and photography magazines, but somehow that lost its appeal a number of years ago and I let the subscriptions run out.

For a paywall site to be successful, it must have something behind that wall that people want access to. They must offer something of value that revolves around the essence of what they do best.

GNC-2009-12-29 #539 I make a Startling Announcement!

Some of you are gonna flip out when you here the conclusion, I came to today while visiting a local merchant. I reverse my opinion on something I have long stood against. Sorry no more clues. I get back on track today on the intro timeline. Enjoy I think this one will go down in the history books and I expect to get a torrent of email and voicemail comments. Yes I think it’s pretty dramatic.

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Show Notes:
What is wrong with Air Safety!
3D for DirecTV do you care?
Yes NYC you can order a iPod now!
eReaders coming out of our ears!
USB 3.0 Sata Adapter!
Did Apple Screw Up?
This one will make you puke!
iMac 27 Inch FAIL?
Top 10 iPhone Apps? What were Yours?
Murdoch will not be Happy!
Best of Master New Media!
1-2 Billion Tweets per Hour!
How much will you pay for Hulu?
Google about to get some Jet Fuel!
The Christmas Mobile Winners Are?
Is it Time to Tax?
Regional DVD Codes why?
Need Some Mac Tips for Beginners?
ISS back at 6 Roomies.
Psystar to sell Linux Boxes?
Digital movies before DVD could it be True?
Wireless Master Plan to reclaim TV Spectrum?
It’s not a Substitute for Common Sense!
Earth magnetic Pole on the Move big Time!
Botnet brought down with Offense versus Defense!
It was Free to begin with!
Be careful of Facebook Everyone!
Reuters transparency in Doubt.
Get off MySpace.

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GNC-2009-06-05 #483 Video is a Main Topic!

Newsletter subscribers check your emails for clues but you have to listen as well to win. I talk about the Video Gravy train for a bit tonight. Looking for input from non podcasters details on the show. As we head into the summer months you will want to remember to take the show with you as you roll outside to do yard work heck you can even have fun with it by shouting out in agreement when I hit some company with criticism.

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Show Topic Notes:
Mark is correct free ride on Video is about Over!
Sony Digital Copies on UMD Library to be Available
45mps Wireless downloads on Airlines?
Palm Pre iTunes Support Funky
Cool Clock but way to Pricey
Great 4th of July Prank
AT&T Prepaid Data Plans Good Idea!
Have you tried Bing?
Steve Jobs how bad was it?
iPhone Video? Weird ring to it!
FTC shuts down Webhost with 15k Customers
Cirque to be next ISS Tourist
Endeavor good for Launch on 6-13.
Atlantis back at Kennedy Space Center.
RIAA no Takers in 6 Months for ISP Cooperation plan???
EFF to track Terms of Service Changes
10 Hot Jobs
Warrantless Wiretapping and Surveilance Suit tossed out!
This is Hogwash how long have we been holding reg Phones?
Hulu looking to get your Money?
DOJ looking at Hiring in the Valley.
Oprah hottest Tech Ticket in Town.
Record Video Watching Last Month!
Manage files in OSX outside of the horrid Finder
YouTube coming to your Flat Screen!
Tuesday Next week will be a big Patch Tuesday
ICANN Finally taking action on DNS Security
Stem Cells Treatment cause site to be regained!
DVD Sniffing Dog makes big bust!
Go get them Cher!

LG Blue-Ray Player – CES 2009

Lg-logo-smallLG always comes to impress. Check out their new products that will be making there way into your home theaters this year.LG Blu-ray Player BD370

BD370 Full HD 1080p resolution and 1080p upscaling, this Network Blu-ray Disc player is the ultimate in picture quality. Plus stream movies, TV shows and videos, to your TV directly using Netfix, YouTube™ and CinemaNow without a computer. Simply connect it to a broadband home network through the built-in Ethernet port and grab your LG remote. Internet connection required and sold separately. Netfix subscription required. It is now able to stream HD in 720p. There are other contents that you can have access to like BDLabs a content that like an online server. The price point of the BD370 is $299. There is also a $399 version that uses a built-in WiFi card. Log on to for more information.

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GNC-2008-11-11 #423 24hr Podcast Date Announced

The 24 Hour Podcast will be November 22nd and 23rd. If you want to be on the show or know of someone that should be on the event I need your help in filling the 24 hours with great content.

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Show Notes:
Wireless Security Detailed
Kuiper Belt Objects
Apple TV + Boxee = Cool
Bad Economy Pic
Tethering Concerns
How to – Any Video File to Playable DVD
AVG Antivirus Kills Good Windows FIle
Phoenix Lander is Dead!
Amazing Antarctica Pics my Fav #32
Blockbuster Set Top Box?
Internet Addiction Starts at 6 Hours Per Day?
Will you Miss Circuit City?
MGM to Post Full Length Vid on YouTube
Google Reader does Auto Translation
Indian Spacecraft in Lunar Orbit
Obama and FCC Possible Picks
Apple Outsource App Store Mgmt?
Seagate self encrypting laptop drives
Google fixes Android Bug
Nice Billboard Update

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GNC-2007-11-27 #320

Back in the saddle from the new location and new studio. A great show where I catch you up on the move and all of the exciting things that have been happening here.

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Sony Fined for Price Fixing
iTunes Games
Wifi Causing Autism?

Show Notes:
Firefox Reach
Mark Cuban way off base!
Kindle DOR
Skype stumbles in UK
OLPC 2 for 1 Extended through Dec 31st
Hydrogen from MSI
Vista spurns Linux Adoption?
Pirate Bay to have revised Music Section
DVD Rentals to have Commercials?
Ten Firefox Extensions to keep surfing safe!
Doc Searls #1
Doc Searls #2
Maglev Wind Turbine
Toyota Simulator Cool!
Guitar Hero it Shreds
Desktop Evolution Windows and Mac
FeedDemon Calculates Attention
Windows XP SP3 10% Faster
Robin Good One True Media
MPAA Spy Toolkit
Credit Card Thieves .01 cents
Zoho Writer Work Off line
ISS Spacewalk and Harmony Wrap Up
RIAA not willing to battle Harvard
Best and Worse Consumer Electronics 2007
Cable Ala Carte could be Expensive
Cell Phone Tracking
Radiation not bad for you, Yea Right!
iMac update equals iBrick
QuickTime bug and XP

Gems I Found
Wells Fargo President Statement
Cool Toy if it was bigger

GNC-2007-07-13 #284

I get on the soapbox over Verizon and the FCC along with getting you up to date on the latest online radio information.

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An Invisible Abomination
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Show Notes:
iPhone Apps
Recording Skype
Prince CD Giveaway
Hydrogen at Scale
Nuclear License
Court Decline Internet Radio Appeal
RIAA Make XM Pay
Microsoft to buy Facebook
Online Radio Saved
People Copy DVDs Not
Quicktime Upgrade
Verizon Condemns FCC
Lawn Chair Balloonist
Shuttle Rolls to Pad
Sony Sues Rootkit Developer
TP Article
More Sprint
Media Rights Technologies Idiots
Skype Nokia N800
Hawaii Telescope
Secret iPhone Codes

GNC-2007-06-22 #278

Congats to Aaron and Cliff on the prize giveaways tonight, listen to win. Lots of cool stories, you will want make sure that you listen to the DVD Copy segment.

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Show Notes:
Shuttle Delay
Google Owns Us
Day of Silence
Open Access 700 Mhz
Credit Report Data
DVD Copying
Vista 6 Month Report
How to get bought by Google
Mobile 6 Slingbox
MacBook Repair
Windows Live Truck
Tatto Guy goes to Redmond
Google vs Vista
Five Google Docs Tips
Water Fight Project for Parents
MacBook Pro Graphics
Google Maps Changes Please
Please Call List

High-Capacity Blue Laser DVDs In The Offing

High-capacity DVDs (Digital Video Disks) that use blue laser technology may soon be available to information technology professionals. Blue laser DVD-RW (rewritable) disks are expected by Sony in the U.S. as early as this June. The disks will store 23GB of data and the drives will initially be connected by SCSI or USB 2.0 interfaces. The expected cost of the first models is between $2,500 and $3,000; however, fast price drops should follow.

When the drives are redesigned for general consumer use, the format of the disks should hold about 25GB, using Sony’s Blu-ray format, or 20GB, using HD-DVD format.

Currently most DVDs recorders use red laser technology, and the blue laser devices won’t be interoperable with the existing crop of drives.

Dave’s Opinion
I’d be piqued if my collection of home movies that I’ve burned to DVD aren’t compatible with the new drives; however, I judge that the major drive manufacturers won’t let this happen: too many people have invested in the current DVD technology to leave it by the wayside so soon.

Call for Comments
What do you think? Leave your comments below.