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Contrary to popular belief
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In the New York Times magazine last Sunday, I read an interesting article about how many newspapers in America are losing money and becoming bankrupt, partly because of decreasing readership. Today, I was again reading the Times, when I realized that I only read certain parts of the paper. For example,
I always read the "Arts as well as Styles sections. I occasionally read the Business section, as well. If a headline on the front page catches my eye, then I read the story. I almost never read the Sports section.
That's when the magazine article I had read earlier gave me an idea. Newspapers could get more people to subscribe if they offered limited subscriptions, so that subscribers only recieve the sections that they choose. For example, one could subscribe to only the Arts section, or get everything except Arts. Each section could have a fixed price, and prices would be adjusted based on which and how many sections one chooses. Of course, everyone would recieve the Classifieds, so advertising would still have value.
In these times, many people might be discouraged from subscribing because of monetary reasons, but could relent because of decreased prices for limited subscriptions. This would help troubled newpapers stay afloat economically.
||Doc, you just need some sports re-education so you can appreciate the full spectrum of what your paper offers. Drop and give me 20.
||Can I buy only the ads? But seriously, I think that it would be very difficult to consistently distribute the right pieces to the right subscribers. Many mistakes would be made. However, I have long thought that something smiliar should be done with cable TV. Only pay for the channels you use. But then if that were the case, few channels would be solvent. So [ ].
||Delivering a complete newspaper to your house is much cheaper than delivering only those sections you want.