The publishing industry is yet to re-invent itself to adapt to the pervasiveness and the possibilities the Internet has to offer. Over the past few years global publishers have found their way into increasingly monetized content, and I feel it’s time that Indian publishers follow suit too.
The only obstacles to the successful monetization of content is the technological investment required to build content management and e-commerce systems, the need to ‘protect’ content once it has been published on the internet.
Another reason Indian publishers aren’t keen on monetizing content digitally is general conservatism towards new technology adoption.
However over the past few years publishers have begun to realize that the ‘traditional’ digital content monetization approaches are under pressure due to various economic, social and technological factors in the current publishing industry.
Drawing from the emerging trends towards monetization, I feel there are many business model opportunities via which publishers can incentivize on the model
Pay wall: Publishers can erect a pay wall so that readers get access to content by only paying. Some content can be offered free for advertisement purposes, but for the rest users are required to pay.
Tiered Access Offerings: Publishers can also adopt a tiered access approach where users can first sample consent or try subscription.
Subscription and Micropayments: Publishers see subscriptions as a steady stream of revenue because a subscription generally requires a medium term or long term commitment from subscribers. However consumers are now willing to pay for a single item. Both subscription and micropayments can exist together.
Tools and APIs: Publishers can also make their own content available via APIs while still exercising their control. Tools and APIs have now successfully created a model for how the publisher monetizes any new or archived content.
Multi-platform Access: Consumers can now choose from a wide range of platforms to access the internet. The key is just that the publishers be able to provide a seamless experience across all platforms and devices as these platforms continue to be transformed.