Jarvis champions relationship-based pay structures

Musician Amanda Palmer (Joi/Wikimedia Commons)

Musician Amanda Palmer (Joi/Wikimedia Commons)

Jeff Jarvis writes that the value of media should be based increasingly on relationships, rather than solely on the content produced.

He cites Google ad exec Susan Wojcicki and musician/artist Amanda Palmer. Palmer had a famously successful Kickstarter campaign for an album she chose to do without major label support. She championed the notion of relationship-building as business model recently in a TED talk:

“By asking people [to pay for your work], you connect with them, and by connecting with them, they want to help you. ‘When we really see each other, we want to help each other. People have been obsessed with the wrong question, which is, How do we make people pay for music? What if we started asking, How de we let people pay for music?'”

Wojcicki applied similar logic to advertising in a post on Google+, writing “In years to come, most ad views will effectively become voluntary.”

If media (as content and as advertising) are voluntary, Jarvis suggests, then the “argument about paywalls — and copyright and the value of content — is the wrong argument. Instead, he writes, “The discussion we should be having is how better to build valuable relationships of trust with people as people, not masses, and then how to exploit that value to support the work they want us to do.”

New York Times online paywall continues to boost paper growth

NY Times app on a phone | Credit: methodshop.com/Flickr

NY Times app on a phone | Credit: methodshop.com/Flickr

For years now journalists have discussed how online paywalls can help “save” the newspaper industry, that if major print publications could just figure a way to charge for web content then the industry could thrive.

The New York Times is hardly your run-of-the-mill paper, but they have managed to lead the way with successful paywall strategies. After two years, the Times’ online page keeps adding tens of thousands of subscribers per quarter, according to CJR. In the fourth quarter, NYT online reached 640,000 digital subscriptions and added 74,000 new subscribers.

Still, as writer Ryan Chittum points out, the paywall was really about slowing the decline of its print operation. The company still has a way to go before it can make up in digital advertising what it’s losing in its quickly vanishing print ad revenues.

“There has never been a better time to be in journalism”

Newspapers are for the birds! (Flickr Creative Commons: Nationaal Archief)

Poynter chatted with Chris Seper, founder and CEO of MedCity Media, who says “there has never been a better time to be in journalism.”  Seper spent nearly a decade working for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which is now in its death throes.  “I think in the past we associated journalism jobs with big outlets that contained hundreds upon hundreds of jobs,” he said in the chat.  “And we associated them with traditional media outlets.  That’s not the case now.” 

But because of the rise of digital, he said, there are “more opportunities to publish than ever before. To start your own shops. To launch and serve readers in the ways they truly want to see themselves served.”

You can read the whole chat here.