Watching the Salon train wreck.

Watching the Salon train wreck. The Kuro5hin site takes a look at Salon living on borrowed time today:

According to Salon Media Group’s annual report and a just released auditor’s report, there is “substantial doubt” about its ability to continue as a going concern. Salon has been charging for premium content, but it wasn’t enough to offset a loss of $11.3 million or make a dent in the accumulated debt of $76.6 million.

This is a sad story on many levels, but one that really bothers me is that the eventual collapse of Salon will be see by many as proof that it is not possible to run a successful Internet media company, and more specifically that charging for premium content doesn’t work. After all, Salon has talented writers and engaging content, and it didn’t make it.

[snip]

If Salon collapses it should teach some more lessons, especially about charging for premium content. Mainly, people will pay for valued content. Some Internet sites do make money by serving a narrow niche and covering the snot out of it. But people don’t seem ready to pay a blanket fee for accessing general interest stories. Hell, I don’t pay for Salon access…I don’t have the time to read it thoroughly and make my subscription worthwhile. Now, if they charged a small fee for reading a particular article, I would do that… [Mac Net Journal]

EXACTLY! It’s time to start looking at micropayments. I wouldn’t subscribe to a particulr site such as Salon, but I’d certainly be willing to pay for reading a particular article. How about somehow tying it into PayPal? When you click on a premium article, it will give you the option to pay for that article from your paypal account.

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