Web users to pay for data


Subject: Web users to pay for data
From: Emanuella Giavarra (ecup.secr@dial.pipex.com)
Date: ti 06 tammi  1998 - 13:14:24 EET


Paul Taylor reported in the Financial Times of 29 December 1997 that a
growing number of publishers and information providers are planning to
charge for access to at least some of the data they make available on
the internet. According to Paul Taylor, the move, mainly led by
newspaper publishers, signals an important change in on-line business
strategies as content owners seek to convert readers into paying
subscribers.

Until now most information available on the internet or via www pages
has been free although some sites, including the Financial Times’
website, ask their visitors to register before granting access. But in
the past few weeks a number of US information providers have announced
plans to charge.

This month Business Week, the US-based business magazine, said it would
charge subscription fees for its internet content. The New York Times
began a pilot scheme asking users to pay for archived stories 10 days
ago and Slate, Microsoft’s on-line political magazine, recently
announced plans to start charging subscription fees.

Some publishers charge for access to their sites but many other sites
were set up on an experimental basis or as teasers for paper-based
publications. While having a web-site has become almost essential for
publishers, most sites continue to lose money despite the growth of
on-line advertisements.

Other publishers, particularly newspaper, fear that providing unlimited
free access to archive material will undermine their existing feebased
on-line information services. However, most newspapers including the New
York Times, stress that they have no plans to charge for daily content.
Earlier attempts by several US publishing groups to charge for current
internet content were abandoned when the number of website visitors
plummeted. But the Wall Street Journal and the Economist have
successfully introduced subscription charges.

Kind regards,
Emanuella Giavarra



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