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Unclebuck
08-14-2012, 03:53 PM
$12 per month to gain access online beyond 20 free stories per month. I thought everyone knew this, but I guess not. Are you going to pay it. I understand why they are doing this, but $12 per month seems a little steep to me - $144 per year seems too much. Although people paid for years and years (and still do) to have the print edition delivered to your house - not sure there is a difference.

A price of between 20 and 35 per year is what I think it should be. (Should be interesting to see what happens) Wonder how sites like WTHR.com, WISHTV.com, WRTV.com and WXIN.com are going to try and capitallize on this

http://www.indystar.com/article/20120729/NEWS/120729002/Indianapolis-Star-updates-business-model-times

Indianapolis Star updates business model for the times

Since 1903, The Indianapolis Star has served Central Indiana with news and information. We've worked hard to keep a trust with you for nearly 110 years, even as a lot changed in that time.

A hundred years ago in Downtown Indy, people didn't just talk about mass transit -- they rode it. A fleet of more than 300 electric streetcars crisscrossed the city. We've seen construction of Indy's first skyscrapers, the launch and expansion of the convention center and the construction of Circle Centre mall. The once-new Market Square Arena and RCA Dome gave way to Bankers Life Fieldhouse and Lucas Oil Stadium. We're home to new museums, the zoo, Victory Field, the NCAA headquarters and now the nation's second-largest medical school on the site where IUPUI was born.

How we communicate also has evolved, of course. We've moved from telegraph to telephones, to radio, to television (http://www.indystar.com/article/20120729/NEWS/120729002/Indianapolis-Star-updates-business-model-times#) and now into the digital age.

Certainly, one of the more dramatic changes is how you and other Central Indiana residents get your news and information. It wasn't too long ago that the printed edition of The Star was the only option we provided to you. Today, you engage with us on your desktop, on your smartphone and on your tablet. In Central Indiana alone, more than 210,000 residents engage with The Star each week on a digital platform. Even more telling, 89,000 Central Indiana residents look at our news and information only on our digital platforms each week.

And although many consumers choose to use digital devices to access our content, many still prefer the traditional print edition. In a typical week, more than 650,000 residents read a print edition of The Star. It's easy (http://www.indystar.com/article/20120729/NEWS/120729002/Indianapolis-Star-updates-business-model-times#), though, to see where consumers are headed.

After a century of doing business in about the same way, it's time for us to transform The Star's business model. These changes will include a new Full Access subscription plan that reflects the value of our content and ensures our ability to grow and serve you better. We are not unlike thousands of businesses that have needed to rethink their business model to keep ahead of changing needs of consumers.

In the past year, we have met with many readers and conducted numerous research studies. We listened hard to what you want and need from us. No "one size fits all" was apparent, but what was obvious was the need to provide multiple options for you to access our content how, when and where you want it. And you told us that we must focus on (and invest (http://www.indystar.com/article/20120729/NEWS/120729002/Indianapolis-Star-updates-business-model-times#) in) the issues that you most care about. We will.

Here are a few key highlights of our new business model:Beyond the headlines

Our primary goal is to provide high-quality, in-depth journalism on topics you are passionate about. Great investigative reporting and public service rank high on that list. The Star's Our Children Our City project takes you inside the halls and classrooms of struggling schools and into the lives of children, shining a light on the troubling issues they confront and inspiring you to become involved. Our StarWatch investigative team brings you hard-hitting stories you can't get anywhere else -- exposing corruption, injustice and incompetent government agencies that waste your tax dollars.

In sports, we take you beyond the games, bringing you closer to your favorite players and providing you with more angles on the Colts than any other source. We offer behind-the-scenes details, engaging humor, expert analysis and clever ways to save time and money. We have strong personalities and provocative columnists whose takes on life may delight you or rile you -- but always make you think. And we have great storytelling. All of this is part of our daily effort to improve your Star -- an effort that will now intensify as we devote greater resources to providing you with even more and better coverage.
Multiple ways to connect with us

All subscribers will have full access 24/7 through all of our platforms:

» Print edition, delivered to your home.

» e-Newspaper, replica of the print edition.

» Desktop, on your computer.

» Mobile, iPhone, Androidsmartphone (http://www.indystar.com/article/20120729/NEWS/120729002/Indianapolis-Star-updates-business-model-times#).

» iPad and other tablets.

Full Access digital-only subscriptions are available for $12 a month, only 40 cents a day. Beginning Sept. 1, we will limit access to news and information content consumed through our website, smartphones and tablets. Nonsubscribers still will be able to read up to 20 stories per 30 days on IndyStar.com before needing to subscribe.
New subscription rates

We are committed to continuing to provide you with in-depth stories and compelling journalism in timely and meaningful ways. To be able to deliver on that commitment, we are raising some of our subscription prices. In August, you will get a letter from me outlining the specific changes to your subscription. The new rates are effective Sept. 1, but we will honor your current rate until your next billing cycle. We have not made this decision lightly. A Full Access subscription, including home delivery of the print edition each day, will be a great value at only 76 cents a day.

Finally, there is one more part of our transformation that I want to explain. You may have heard or read recently that we have decided, after 104 years, to put our Downtown building on Pennsylvania Street up for sale. It has been a wonderful part of our history. But the Penn building no longer suits the size and needs of our staff. We need space that inspires us to be creative and digitally focused as we continue to pursue great journalism that makes an impact and is a positive force on our community. We are committed that Star employees will relocate to a new location Downtown still to be determined. We hope to find space that inspires our future and welcome you to be a partner in the conversation.

All of our changes are meant to ensure we serve Central Indiana for a very long time. Our commitment to keep our readers informed and serve our community is stronger than ever.

On Aug. 12, we will publish a Q&A in The Star and on IndyStar.com regarding our changes. The next day, we'll also answer questions in a chat online. Please don't hesitate to email me with questions you'd like answered.

Look for my letter in your mailbox in the weeks ahead.

Thank you for making us part of your life. We will continue to work hard to earn your trust and your business.
Contact Karen Crotchfelt, president and publisher

Unclebuck
08-14-2012, 03:56 PM
http://www.indystar.com/article/20120812/OPINION13/208120316

Still have questions about the new Indy Star? Let us explain


Can I still buy a copy of the print edition at my local store?
Yes, print editions will still be available seven days a week at normal retail outlets.
I am willing to pay for a Full Access subscription, but I have had some delivery challenges with my print edition. If you can get them fixed I would be a very happy customer.
Please call us or email us if your print edition fails to arrive as promised. We work hard to provide great delivery but if you are having a problem, we ABSOLUTELY want to know about it and will work hard to fix it. Call us at 1-888-357-7827 or email IndianapolisStar@Gannett.com.
I don't want digital, just home delivery of the print edition.
We understand that some subscribers may still only want to use print, while others will only want to use online. However, our research indicates many customers want the convenience of accessing The Star's content in multiple ways. Full Access subscriptions allow you to choose. If you don't plan on using your digital access, you can share your log-in (you get two logins with your subscription) with a family member who may enjoy the many benefits and unique content only available online.
If I get the digital-only subscription, will I be able to access all the coupons and inserts?
You can find about half of the advertising inserts online at findnsave.indystar.com, which features coupons and circulars from participating advertisers. To ensure you get a full assortment of inserts and coupons, your best option is to choose a Full Access subscription including delivery of at least the Thursday and Sunday print editions.
I have an iPad and have been using The Star's optimized site but it seems a little slow with a few glitches.
Good news! With our launch of Full Access on Sept. 1, we will upgrade our tablet site. The site will have faster download times with select content available for offline viewing, simplified navigation to get you to stories you want with fewer taps, plus story commenting. Our new tablet site can also be accessed on many Android devices such as the Kindle Fire and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
I love Indystar.com and would love to subscribe to a Full Access digital-only subscription. Can I get it without all the ads though?
Just as we have ads in print, we will continue to have ads on our digital platforms. However, we have put in place new guidelines to try to avoid the ad clutter that frustrates you. Local businesses get great results from advertising on our digital platforms, including IndyStar.com, and we want to help them succeed.
Will I have to subscribe or pay to read obituaries online?
No, obituaries and several other sites -- such as Cars .com, CareerBuilder.com, Apartments.com and Home Finder.com -- will still have unlimited accessibility for non-subscribers.
What kind of content will I get online that I don't already get in my print edition?
Digitally, you'll get breaking news when it happens all day long and a robust offering of videos and photo galleries that complement stories or tell stories. You'll also have access to databases, such as our new Things to Do and Out to Eat content channels. Both have extensive local databases to help you plan your free time and find great places to eat. You can also join in the conversation by using your Facebook login to chat about stories of interest. Additionally with full access to the digital platforms, when you travel or wherever you are, you won't miss a moment of what is happening in Indy.
Why is the price for a subscription that includes 7-day home delivery of the print edition going up so much?
We believe the new subscription rate for full access across multiple platforms that includes 7-day home delivery of the print edition is priced appropriately to reflect the value of our high-quality, in-depth journalism and the costs associated with printing and delivering a product to your home every day. Our last price increase was in 2008. The new price, just 76 cents a day, ensures our ability to bring you great content and helps keep local journalism strong.
You mentioned you will be improving your content. How?
We are adding reporters to our local news coverage and are devoting more resources to breaking news. We're also adding reporters and expanding our coverage of things to do and places to go, and will be providing a local column focused on saving you money. We also continue to expand on the exclusive watchdog work you find only in The Star and at IndyStar.com.
As far as digital goes, why would I pay you for something that I can get for free from somebody else?
With a staff of more than 100 journalists in Central Indiana, we provide stories you can't find anywhere else. We devote more coverage than anyone else to the Colts and offer the insights of sports columnist Bob Kravitz and Pacers Insider Mike Wells, along with exclusive stories about your favorite colleges and high schools. Our StarWatch investigative team and other reporters regularly break exclusive, significant stories that expose wrongdoing, injustice and wasted tax dollars. You will see expanded entertainment coverage, with an eye toward helping busy families find fun things to do together, as well as our new bargain-hunting column. You'll find all of this and more at IndyStar .com.
Have another question? Three ways to ask» Please call us at 1-888-357-7827 between 7 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. today, or 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
» Go to www.mynewspaperservice.com (http://www.mynewspaperservice.com/).
» Join a live webchat from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Monday on IndyStar.com with Publisher and President Karen Crotchfelt, Vice President and Editor Jeff Taylor, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Douglas Wilson and Vice President of Digital Strategy Patricia Miller.

Ownagedood
08-14-2012, 03:56 PM
Way too steep. You can find better outlets for free, don't know why you would pay $12 for Indystar online access unless you just have money burning a hole in your pocket.

Unclebuck
08-14-2012, 03:59 PM
http://www.indystar.com/fdcp/?unique=1344974705735

When I was in college, one of our journalism professors had a tradition of handing out an essay to his students each semester that reminded us of what newspaper readers expect.
They expect you to get it right, he said. All the time. They expect you to be fair and balanced. And to be watchdogs. And to tell stories, great stories, that stir the heart, that inspire the soul, that cause grumbles, that surprise and delight. They expect you to tell them about their neighborhood, their city, their state, the nation, the world. To take them behind the scenes of their favorite sports. To be a leader in the community and make it a better place. To be sure the comics are there. And the puzzles and the ads that help people find great deals. And they expect you to deliver all of this to their homes every day, dry and fresh, by the time they wake up.

We give them all of this, he said, for less than the cost of a cup of coffee.


The message is as true today as it was then, except now we deliver all of that content, and more, in ways we never imagined -- still on paper, yes, but also on desktops and tablets and smartphones.

At The Indianapolis Star, we've been committed to meeting those expectations for more than 100 years. We look forward to doing the same for a long time to come as our business model evolves.

I've been in Indy only a month. In those four weeks, I've enjoyed exploring our wonderful city and I've enjoyed hearing from many of you. You've shared good wishes, your likes, your dislikes, and I appreciate the thoughtful input on how we can serve you better.
Here's what I'd like you to know: We're working hard to do that. We are rolling out many improvements and new features at The Star and at IndyStar .com in direct response to what you've told us you want.

We have a staff of more than 100 dedicated journalists -- the largest news force in Indianapolis and our state. They're an impressive team, passionate about their city and about the work they do, and I'm proud to lead their efforts as we focus on delivering a great news report in all the ways you've come to expect.

Nearly 800,000 Central Indiana adults read The Star or IndyStar .com each week. We want you to know we're investing in our content, from adding reporters who cover local news to expanding our coverage of things to do and places to go. We're devoting more resources to breaking news coverage of significant, fast-developing stories while also expanding our emphasis on hard-hitting investigative reporting and public service journalism.

You can count on finding exclusive stories with us. Our coverage of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, for instance, saved ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars and led to the firing and resignations of government and business officials and the indictment of the state's top utility regulator. Our investigation into the tragic collapse of the State Fair stage rigging last year uncovered problems with inspection and permitting issues as well as failures in executing the fair's emergency plan -- all issues later confirmed by state-hired investigators. Our coverage of the state's Department of Child Services has exposed numerous incidents in which children were killed despite the agency's involvement or efforts to warn the agency.

This kind of reporting is at the heart of what we do. We're continuing to invest in journalism that makes a difference and aims to make our city a better place for everybody. As part of those efforts, we are launching a 10-year commitment to Our Children/Our City, a public service project that seeks to improve the lives of kids in our community. We'll continue to shine light on the tough issues and challenges our community faces, with a goal of also pointing toward solutions.

As we build on our local coverage, we want you to know that we have reporters assigned full time in places others don't -- City Hall, the Statehouse and other key posts where you expect us to watch your tax money. We're equally committed to the sports you love. And that's why you often see big sports news first at IndyStar.com.

Our Pacers Insider Mike Wells was the first to report that Donnie Walsh was returning as team president. A few days later, Wells broke another story explaining why: Larry Bird was stepping down. Colts writer Mike Chappell was the first to report that quarterback Andrew Luck had reached a deal with the team. As the NFL season gets under way, we'll have the largest team of reporters devoted to Colts coverage. You'll continue to see up-to-the-minute reports, exclusive stories, deep profiles and analyses from Chappell, Phil Richards and Phillip B. Wilson, along with Star columnist Bob Kravitz.

We're doing this and more because we want to continue to keep your business and your trust -- and because we listened to what you had to say about what you want. We'll keep listening and keep doing journalism that matters, journalism that makes a difference in your life.

Jeff Taylor is editor and vice president of The Indianapolis Star. You may reach him at jeff.taylor@ indystar.com or at (317) 444-6160.

OlBlu
08-14-2012, 04:01 PM
$12 per month to gain access online beyond 20 free stories per month. I thought everyone knew this, but I guess not. Are you going to pay it. I understand why they are doing this, but $12 per month seems a little steep to me - $144 per year seems too much. Although people paid for years and years (and still do) to have the print edition delivered to your house - not sure there is a difference.

http://www.indystar.com/article/20120729/NEWS/120729002/Indianapolis-Star-updates-business-model-times

Indianapolis Star updates business model for the times

Since 1903, The Indianapolis Star has served Central Indiana with news and information. We've worked hard to keep a trust with you for nearly 110 years, even as a lot changed in that time.

A hundred years ago in Downtown Indy, people didn't just talk about mass transit -- they rode it. A fleet of more than 300 electric streetcars crisscrossed the city. We've seen construction of Indy's first skyscrapers, the launch and expansion of the convention center and the construction of Circle Centre mall. The once-new Market Square Arena and RCA Dome gave way to Bankers Life Fieldhouse and Lucas Oil Stadium. We're home to new museums, the zoo, Victory Field, the NCAA headquarters and now the nation's second-largest medical school on the site where IUPUI was born.

How we communicate also has evolved, of course. We've moved from telegraph to telephones, to radio, to television (http://www.indystar.com/article/20120729/NEWS/120729002/Indianapolis-Star-updates-business-model-times#) and now into the digital age.

Certainly, one of the more dramatic changes is how you and other Central Indiana residents get your news and information. It wasn't too long ago that the printed edition of The Star was the only option we provided to you. Today, you engage with us on your desktop, on your smartphone and on your tablet. In Central Indiana alone, more than 210,000 residents engage with The Star each week on a digital platform. Even more telling, 89,000 Central Indiana residents look at our news and information only on our digital platforms each week.

And although many consumers choose to use digital devices to access our content, many still prefer the traditional print edition. In a typical week, more than 650,000 residents read a print edition of The Star. It's easy (http://www.indystar.com/article/20120729/NEWS/120729002/Indianapolis-Star-updates-business-model-times#), though, to see where consumers are headed.

After a century of doing business in about the same way, it's time for us to transform The Star's business model. These changes will include a new Full Access subscription plan that reflects the value of our content and ensures our ability to grow and serve you better. We are not unlike thousands of businesses that have needed to rethink their business model to keep ahead of changing needs of consumers.

In the past year, we have met with many readers and conducted numerous research studies. We listened hard to what you want and need from us. No "one size fits all" was apparent, but what was obvious was the need to provide multiple options for you to access our content how, when and where you want it. And you told us that we must focus on (and invest (http://www.indystar.com/article/20120729/NEWS/120729002/Indianapolis-Star-updates-business-model-times#) in) the issues that you most care about. We will.

Here are a few key highlights of our new business model:Beyond the headlines

Our primary goal is to provide high-quality, in-depth journalism on topics you are passionate about. Great investigative reporting and public service rank high on that list. The Star's Our Children Our City project takes you inside the halls and classrooms of struggling schools and into the lives of children, shining a light on the troubling issues they confront and inspiring you to become involved. Our StarWatch investigative team brings you hard-hitting stories you can't get anywhere else -- exposing corruption, injustice and incompetent government agencies that waste your tax dollars.

In sports, we take you beyond the games, bringing you closer to your favorite players and providing you with more angles on the Colts than any other source. We offer behind-the-scenes details, engaging humor, expert analysis and clever ways to save time and money. We have strong personalities and provocative columnists whose takes on life may delight you or rile you -- but always make you think. And we have great storytelling. All of this is part of our daily effort to improve your Star -- an effort that will now intensify as we devote greater resources to providing you with even more and better coverage.
Multiple ways to connect with us

All subscribers will have full access 24/7 through all of our platforms:

» Print edition, delivered to your home.

» e-Newspaper, replica of the print edition.

» Desktop, on your computer.

» Mobile, iPhone, Androidsmartphone (http://www.indystar.com/article/20120729/NEWS/120729002/Indianapolis-Star-updates-business-model-times#).

» iPad and other tablets.

Full Access digital-only subscriptions are available for $12 a month, only 40 cents a day. Beginning Sept. 1, we will limit access to news and information content consumed through our website, smartphones and tablets. Nonsubscribers still will be able to read up to 20 stories per 30 days on IndyStar.com before needing to subscribe.
New subscription rates

We are committed to continuing to provide you with in-depth stories and compelling journalism in timely and meaningful ways. To be able to deliver on that commitment, we are raising some of our subscription prices. In August, you will get a letter from me outlining the specific changes to your subscription. The new rates are effective Sept. 1, but we will honor your current rate until your next billing cycle. We have not made this decision lightly. A Full Access subscription, including home delivery of the print edition each day, will be a great value at only 76 cents a day.

Finally, there is one more part of our transformation that I want to explain. You may have heard or read recently that we have decided, after 104 years, to put our Downtown building on Pennsylvania Street up for sale. It has been a wonderful part of our history. But the Penn building no longer suits the size and needs of our staff. We need space that inspires us to be creative and digitally focused as we continue to pursue great journalism that makes an impact and is a positive force on our community. We are committed that Star employees will relocate to a new location Downtown still to be determined. We hope to find space that inspires our future and welcome you to be a partner in the conversation.

All of our changes are meant to ensure we serve Central Indiana for a very long time. Our commitment to keep our readers informed and serve our community is stronger than ever.

On Aug. 12, we will publish a Q&A in The Star and on IndyStar.com regarding our changes. The next day, we'll also answer questions in a chat online. Please don't hesitate to email me with questions you'd like answered.

Look for my letter in your mailbox in the weeks ahead.

Thank you for making us part of your life. We will continue to work hard to earn your trust and your business.
Contact Karen Crotchfelt, president and publisher

The star has become a terrible newspaper and there site isn't much better. Let Kravitz talk to himself.....:cool: ...

Sandman21
08-14-2012, 04:16 PM
LOL

Trader Joe
08-14-2012, 04:32 PM
There is a zero percent chance I pay $12/month for the Star

HC
08-14-2012, 04:53 PM
I barely read it free as it is now, no chance in hell I pay for it.

ilive4sports
08-14-2012, 04:54 PM
how much is do they charge for a physical subscription? $12 a month seems rather steep for a newspaper. You can subscribe to Netflix or Hulu Plus for cheaper than that.

But I do get why they are doing it. Newspapers should have been doing stuff like this from the start

OlBlu
08-14-2012, 05:09 PM
I barely read it free as it is now, no chance in hell I pay for it.

I too used to read it faithfully but it has become such a rag that I no longer bother.....:cool: ...

aero
08-14-2012, 05:12 PM
I barely read it free as it is now, no chance in hell I pay for it.

My thoughts exactly lol

imawhat
08-14-2012, 05:13 PM
(http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=jLk&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&sa=X&ei=q78qUOL6AemhiQK91YHgBw&ved=0CFAQvwUoAQ&q=hemorrhaging&spell=1)If you think people were complaining about the lack of content/price on Netflix @ $7.99/mo, you ain't seen nuthin' yet. $12/mo + having to still view ads + free content elsewhere=recipe for disaster.

I understand they're hemorrhaging money over there, but alienating the loyal customers is the worst thing they can do.

Hypnotiq
08-14-2012, 05:15 PM
Will fail miserably

OlBlu
08-14-2012, 05:24 PM
(http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=jLk&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&sa=X&ei=q78qUOL6AemhiQK91YHgBw&ved=0CFAQvwUoAQ&q=hemorrhaging&spell=1)If you think people were complaining about the lack of content/price on Netflix @ $7.99/mo, you ain't seen nuthin' yet. $12/mo + having to still view ads + free content elsewhere=recipe for disaster.

I understand they're hemorrhaging money over there, but alienating the loyal customers is the worst thing they can do.

If they are losing that much money, they should fire Kravitz and a couple of other so-called reporters......:cool: ...

imawhat
08-14-2012, 05:28 PM
Like him or not, I suspect Kravitz is one of the most, if not the most valuable reporters the Star has in retaining readers. Almost 100% of his columns wind up at #1 on the Star's 'Most Popular' columns chart.

Financially he'd be as great of a loss the Star can have, in terms of writers.

Roaming Gnome
08-14-2012, 05:35 PM
Just wait... The print edition sold at retail is going with a price increase also starting with the Sunday Star going up .25 to $2 for Metro and State Copies are going up $1 to $3. I believe that change takes effect this weekend! As for the digital copy... That's fine with me considering my livelihood is based on the print edition doing well.

OlBlu
08-14-2012, 05:43 PM
Just wait... The print edition sold at retail is going with a price increase also starting with the Sunday Star going up .25 to $2 for Metro and State Copies are going up $1 to $3. I believe that change takes effect this weekend! As for the digital copy... That's fine with me considering my livelihood is based on the print edition doing well.

I will buy USA Today thank you....:cool: ...

Tom White
08-14-2012, 06:30 PM
(http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=jLk&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&sa=X&ei=q78qUOL6AemhiQK91YHgBw&ved=0CFAQvwUoAQ&q=hemorrhaging&spell=1)If you think people were complaining about the lack of content/price on Netflix @ $7.99/mo, you ain't seen nuthin' yet. $12/mo + having to still view ads + free content elsewhere=recipe for disaster.

I understand they're hemorrhaging money over there, but alienating the loyal customers is the worst thing they can do.

Which loyal customers are you talking about? If they are only alienating the people who were using the site for free, they aren't losing anything. Maybe I don't understand what you are saying.

Tom White
08-14-2012, 06:32 PM
Will fail miserably

But, if they don't do this, the paper may go the route of many others in this country, and close their doors altogether. Newspaper business is not great.

Heisenberg
08-14-2012, 06:44 PM
Just wait... The print edition sold at retail is going with a price increase also starting with the Sunday Star going up .25 to $2 for Metro and State Copies are going up $1 to $3. I believe that change takes effect this weekend! As for the digital copy... That's fine with me considering my livelihood is based on the print edition doing well.
Wow, really? I hate to say it but it feels like the Star's days are numbered. At least a lot of staff members days anyway. It's a bummer what the internet's done to the hard journalism industry. Blogs are great, and there's a number that do really good investigative journalism, but it feels like we're heading towards a news world that's nothing but opinion based. I don't read papers for the editorials and opinion pieces, I read them for actual reporting.

blanket
08-14-2012, 06:52 PM
For comparison, my city paper has limited content on their website, but offers mobile app access to their full print edition (including ability to search, bookmark, print articles/coupons etc.) for $1/month.

$12/month is outrageous.

OlBlu
08-14-2012, 07:01 PM
Wow, really? I hate to say it but it feels like the Star's days are numbered. At least a lot of staff members days anyway. It's a bummer what the internet's done to the hard journalism industry. Blogs are great, and there's a number that do really good investigative journalism, but it feels like we're heading towards a news world that's nothing but opinion based. I don't read papers for the editorials and opinion pieces, I read them for actual reporting.

I think they are done too..... and it is very sad but it is happening all over the country. I know because I travel and I usually just get USA Today because the local papers are so bad. The only reason I do get them is to read editorials in different parts of the country and that is very interesting and sometimes a bit scary....... like here in Texas.....:cool: ...

2minutes twoa
08-14-2012, 09:05 PM
I don't blame anyone for charging for their product, but $12 is a bit much. And if they're changing with the times, then they might want to look into getting an app that actually works!

And my wife works for Gannett. They are planning on doing this with most of their papers, including USA Today.

idioteque
08-14-2012, 09:06 PM
The Star is a lousy paper, the local coverage just isn't that great. It is too generic, could be the paper of Anytown, USA really. The international/national coverage is even worse. I just don't like the idea of a big publisher like Gannett controlling a bunch of local papers. I don't know who does webdesign for Gannett's papers, but I can't stand it. The Star's website is awful.

The only paper I read faithfully is the Financial Times. Used to read the New York Times and Wall Street Journal to get "balance" but it is easier reading FT which is a balanced paper.

For the Star I read Tully, the Colts and Pacers stuff, and Erica Smith sometimes.

beast23
08-14-2012, 09:29 PM
I can still recall when the Indianapolis Times shut down in the 60s. Several years later, the Indianapolis News followed, when it's content was combined into the Indianapolis Star.

For the last several years, I have subscribed to the Star, but have accessed most of what I want to read online. I like getting my info quickly without having to wait for the next mornings trip to my mailbox at 6AM.

So why have I been donating my $200 or so to the Star each year you ask? Because I don't want to see the Star go the same route as the Times and the News, that's why! It's no big secret that print newspapers are a dying breed. However, that does not mean that local non-television news should die altogether.

The Star has come up with a model that they believe will enable them to survive the ongoing shift from print to Internet-based media. I applaud that they have come up with a plan rather than folding their doors. Does the price seem steep? Yes,frankly it does to me. Does this mean that there will not be an opportunity for a change in their model in the future? Probably not. At least I hope not.

I really think that this model is a first attempt to strike a balance between print and Internet. I believe that we will see further change and improvement as the business changes (and hopefully grows).

gummy
08-15-2012, 12:43 AM
Noooope. The free allotment will work just fine. I generally learn more about what Pacers players have said from other newspapers anyway. For example, when JOB was fired, a lot of the most interesting comments from our players were published somewhere other than The Star first.

Besides which, $12/mo is too much for the depth and breadth of coverage the Indy Star provides.

King Tuts Tomb
08-15-2012, 01:51 AM
To put this into perspective, the New York Times, which has a hundred times more daily content than the Star, is $15 a month for an online subscription and smart phone access. The Star just does not have enough quality content to justify this price tag. I'm amazed that they would try this without a six month trial at something like $5 a month so people could decide whether they want to stick with it or not.

I am disappointed that I'll read less of Mike Wells, who I really like. Bob Kravitz is lame and boring and wastes an amazing opportunity, so I'm glad that he'll disappear behind the pay wall.

Sparhawk
08-15-2012, 07:03 AM
I love their mobile app.

At least they have a good one. The AJC certainly can't say that.

But I'm not paying $12. Goodbye mobile app. :(

Sparhawk
08-15-2012, 07:09 AM
This reminds me of when Kodak Gallery was #1 just a few years ago for photo books, prints, etc. Then they thought they were smart and charge for storage. Only took a couple of months before business to go downhill and for Snapfish and Shutterfly to leapfrog them. Now Kodak Gallery is out of business, bought out by Shutterfly.

May not be all that related, but this is what happens, when people feel like they shouldn't have to pay for something. You don't give something for free, and then all the sudden decide to charge for it. I'm sure they make a good amount from all the advertising on their site. Banners ads are not exactly cheap.

Now, $5/mo...that's possible. $12...that's a quick no.

Ransom
08-15-2012, 07:53 AM
My first thought was Netflix is 7.99 for unlimited streaming movies a month, I can't imagine wanting to pay 12 dollars to see Star articles that still have ads.

D-BONE
08-15-2012, 08:22 AM
Bye, bye Indy Star from a long-time reader. I can accept moving to pay for on-line access, but like others here, I find $12/month utterly exorbitant. Maybe roughly half that fee would be justified.

graphic-er
08-15-2012, 08:30 AM
May not be all that related, but this is what happens, when people feel like they shouldn't have to pay for something. You don't give something for free, and then all the sudden decide to charge for it. I'm sure they make a good amount from all the advertising on their site. Banners ads are not exactly cheap.

Now, $5/mo...that's possible. $12...that's a quick no.

Thats exactly what I proposed to the Editor last month. I told them they need to offer a $6-$8 per month digital only subscription. Even if they needed a one year commitment to get that price discount, that would be acceptable. His retort was that at $12 a month its less than a cup of coffee per day. Good lord. Sucks because I actually enjoy logging on to the star every morning when I get into the office. You will get like so many free viewings a month before the pay wall stops you. Thus the continued use of Ads.

The fact is they have a large printing facility on the northwest side, and most likely the $12 digital rate is subsidizing that operation. Cause they can't justify letting it go.

I don't mind paying for content if the content is good, but for $12 that **** better be NY Times good, and I just don't think The Star is capable of that level of service and content.

Tom White
08-15-2012, 08:40 AM
For comparison, my city paper has limited content on their website, but offers mobile app access to their full print edition (including ability to search, bookmark, print articles/coupons etc.) for $1/month.

$12/month is outrageous.

Not knowing where you are from, I have to ask this. What is your local paper, and do you have any idea of their circulation?

King Tuts Tomb
08-15-2012, 08:42 AM
His retort was that at $12 a month its less than a cup of coffee per day.

I don't know why every person who works for a newspaper decided that this is a valid defense. It's less than a cup of coffee because you put ads all over the paper and website and you're making money from my eyes looking at those ads. My basic cable TV costs about a dollar a day, because they play ten minutes of ads every half hour. This is no different, so please stop acting like you're not making money from advertising.

travmil
08-15-2012, 08:45 AM
There will be absolutley NOTHING the Star will offer for that $12 that isn't available for free from other outlets. Do you want Pacers and Colts coverage? You find better writers on THIS board. Do you want local news coverage? The websites of the local news stations have you covered. Restaurant reviews? Urbanspoon is your friend. Entertainment and Nightlife? NUVO has everything you'd ever need for that.

When you compare to similar products, The Wall Street Journal is $4.99 per week and is ten times better. The New York Times is only $3 more per month and you are likely to find MORE coverage for your local teams in it than you are the Star. They need to stop using that "less than a cup of coffee" line. My retort to that is that I expect to ENJOY my coffee.

Oh well, just like any other business trotting out a dying business model in a changed world, they are about to find out just how valuable their product is.

Gnome, I'm sorry to hear that your livelihood is tied to the Star. You might want to start looking. Even though your involved with the print edition, I'd have to believe that they are trying to charge the outrageous $12 for digital in an effort to prop up the print side of the business. I could be wrong about that, but if it were me I wouldn't feel comfortable.

Hicks
08-15-2012, 12:23 PM
I barely read it free as it is now, no chance in hell I pay for it.

Yep. Other than reading Wells' articles, I typically don't read it at all. So I guess this hurts if it means I can't see his stuff anymore, but then again odds are someone with access is likely to share it on a forum anyway.

Hicks
08-15-2012, 12:39 PM
Wow, really? I hate to say it but it feels like the Star's days are numbered. At least a lot of staff members days anyway. It's a bummer what the internet's done to the hard journalism industry. Blogs are great, and there's a number that do really good investigative journalism, but it feels like we're heading towards a news world that's nothing but opinion based. I don't read papers for the editorials and opinion pieces, I read them for actual reporting.

Ultimately I think written professional journalism is going to live or die based on how effectively they can integrate sponsors and advertisements directly into their content in ways that can't be easily ignored/filtered.

Maybe that's putting a sponsor into their title (like how sports arenas do), and it's definitely putting ads in their articles through methods that don't allow for simple adblocking. Maybe that means linking to PDF files for content instead of script-generated webpages, maybe it's using something like flash to display the article/ads together, probably that means making their content only accessible via an app on mobile devices and tablets instead of the web browsers. Things like that.

I still think there's a place for professional reporters, but things will have to evolve.

I think in the next 10 years or so they need to just stop printing it on paper as another generation passes away that would never adopt digital. Just make it all electronic to streamline things.

Downtown Bang!
08-15-2012, 12:45 PM
Thank you for making us part of your life. We will continue to work hard to earn your trust and your business.
Contact Karen Crotchfelt, president and publisher

Top ten unfortunate names for a woman there.

Hicks
08-15-2012, 12:46 PM
I love their mobile app.

At least they have a good one. The AJC certainly can't say that.

But I'm not paying $12. Goodbye mobile app. :(

I wonder if they'd get more money by releasing a new app every year (branded the 2012, 2013 edition and so on) for a lump sum fee to download it (like maybe $30-50). Not many would do it, but at least that way it's cheaper than $12/mo and you only have to pay once and get everything on the app for the year.

RamBo_Lamar
08-15-2012, 12:46 PM
Am sorry to see Indystar headed this way. Will hold off on deleting it from my favorites list
or getting rid of the mobile app (for now), but do not see subscribing any time soon.

mattie
08-15-2012, 01:35 PM
The Star was dead when the Pulliam's sold.

You're talking about Gannett here, and when we're talking about Gannett, my loyalties get thrown out the window.


http://www.nuvo.net/NewsBlog/archives/2011/12/07/an-open-letter-to-gannett-ceo-gracia-martore

An open letter to Gannett CEO Gracia Martore:

You probably don't remember me; I was one of 62 employees who were laid off at The Indianapolis Star last June. Of course, 700 other employees across the country also were let go around the same time, so I forgive you for not being able to put a face to a name.

I wish I could say I was shocked when I heard you had asked many of the remaining employees to take yet another one-week unpaid furlough less than two months after your predecessor, Craig Dubow, walked away with a $37 million retirement package. But then again, this is Gannett we're talking about.

It's not like Craig didn't deserve that money, just like he deserved the more than $16 million he made in salary and bonuses the previous two years, as thousands of employees were let go or forced to take unpaid time off; he did some special things during his tenure as Gannett's fearless leader. Look at the stock price, which went from about $10 a share to more than $75. Oh, wait a second, that's backward — Gannett stock actually dropped by $65 a share. Just the same, not many CEOs can say they managed to do that.

I felt for Craig as he left the company. Physical ailments are tough, just ask the pressroom guys or the reporters who can't afford their health insurance premiums after you cut Star newsroom employees' salaries by 10 percent a few years ago. I don't think the cause of his back pain was ever made public, but I'm guessing it had something to do with that enormous golden parachute weighing him down and not the crushing guilt that he was raking in so much cash at the expense of hard-working employees across the company.

I apologize for any glaring mistakes; it's 3 a.m. as I write this and like any good journalist, I'm nothing without a great copy editor. Of course, the current reporters are going to be finding that out soon enough, after you outsource the copy desk jobs to a hub in Kentucky. But why stop there? Why not ship the jobs to India or China or somewhere they don't even speak English at all? After all, it's not like a copy editor based in Louisville is going to automatically catch when, let's say, Pennsylvania Street is mistakenly referred to as Pennsylvania Avenue. That might embarrass the old guard — Pennsylvania is the street the Star is located on, in case you're wondering — but I don't think you or the rest of the executive crew at Gannett's headquarters in McLean, Va., are capable of shame.

I'm proud of the decade I spent working at the Star. I was never going to win a Pulitzer, but I was dedicated, hard-working and genuinely loved my job ... mostly. I used to tell friends and co-workers I loved being a Star reporter, but hated working for Gannett. Everyone knew what I was talking about. You've taken a once-respected, but still extremely profitable, newspaper and wrung every last cent you can from its withered husk.

The media landscape is constantly changing, but you and the others at Gannett HQ seem content to remain on a sinking ship, looting the fine silver and tossing random crewmembers overboard. I would consider you and the rest of Gannett's leadership (term used loosely and with a bit of a smirk) common whores, setting aside any concept of morality and ethics for money, but that's an affront to prostitutes everywhere. At least when one of their clients gets screwed, he's walking away with a smile on his face. Parasite might be more appropriate, as company executives continue to suck workers dry.

But it's no longer my problem. I've moved on — bitter, late-night screeds not withstanding — to new challenges, with my head held high. I don't think you or Craig can say that.

Mad-Mad-Mario
08-15-2012, 03:02 PM
Nobody is going to pay that. I only read the star for local sports coverage. IU, Pacers, Colts and what not. But I just go without, the coverage isn't that important. Insidethehall and Hoosierscoop can fill the gap on any real news anyway for IU. And SI and the other major sites will have enough of the Colts and Pacers

Sparhawk
08-15-2012, 04:23 PM
The Star was dead when the Pulliam's sold.

You're talking about Gannett here, and when we're talking about Gannett, my loyalties get thrown out the window.

:citizenkane:

Eleazar
08-15-2012, 05:49 PM
My first thought was Netflix is 7.99 for unlimited streaming movies a month, I can't imagine wanting to pay 12 dollars to see Star articles that still have ads.

Netflix is also streaming old content that already made its money either through airing on TV a year earlier or movies that were released in theaters a year earlier. That is old content where everything they make off of allowing Netflix to stream it is just icing on the cake.

The Star is creating original content that hasn't already made the rounds. It isn't a fair comparison at all. If you look at any provider who is providing new original content it is going to start around $12 a month.

If you look at the Star's monthly subscription it is about $20. Really very little of that is actually going towards the physical medium, most of it goes to the business men and women and the content creators.

The truth is they probably can't go cheaper than $12 and stay in business as they are. It is much easier to charge less when you are only a service, and not the content creators like Netflix.




Ultimately I think written professional journalism is going to live or die based on how effectively they can integrate sponsors and advertisements directly into their content in ways that can't be easily ignored/filtered.

Maybe that's putting a sponsor into their title (like how sports arenas do), and it's definitely putting ads in their articles through methods that don't allow for simple adblocking. Maybe that means linking to PDF files for content instead of script-generated webpages, maybe it's using something like flash to display the article/ads together, probably that means making their content only accessible via an app on mobile devices and tablets instead of the web browsers. Things like that.

I still think there's a place for professional reporters, but things will have to evolve.

I think in the next 10 years or so they need to just stop printing it on paper as another generation passes away that would never adopt digital. Just make it all electronic to streamline things.

Actually I find that highly unlikely, and in fact I find from my own personal experience, this is not scientific at all, that the majority of people who use AdBlocking software are over the age of 40. The younger generation just doesn't care and ignores the adds, or realizes those adds are there for a reason and actually welcome them if it means they get the content for free.

PR07
08-15-2012, 10:57 PM
I just couldn't justify paying $12 a month, when you can pretty much find the information elsewhere if you have time to look around a bit.

Day-V
08-15-2012, 11:15 PM
http://www.1070thefan.com

:)

Kegboy
08-15-2012, 11:17 PM
Like him or not, I suspect Kravitz is one of the most, if not the most valuable reporters the Star has in retaining readers. Almost 100% of his columns wind up at #1 on the Star's 'Most Popular' columns chart.

Financially he'd be as great of a loss the Star can have, in terms of writers.

Please. He's not a reporter, he's a columnist. When a newspaper only has one sports columnist, he'll be the most popular read, without question. Add in it's the only newspaper in town, moreso.

I wonder how much it cost the Star to send Kravitz to the Olympics, so he could write about delayed television coverage. Forget even a contemporary writer, they could get both Miller and Benner back for half his salary. They'd easily get as many page views, and there's a chance people might actually be willing to pay money to read what they had to say.

Heisenberg
08-16-2012, 12:13 AM
Pacers Digest already sounds sort of like a newspaper, if any of you have a printing press.

I'm just saying. Maybe you guys could finally make a couple bucks off this place.

Strummer
08-16-2012, 02:35 AM
They're still allowing 20 free articles every 30 days. So we don't have to abandon the Star entirely. I'll just plan on rationing my Star visits.

I'll go to Pacers.com for game recaps. If the Star ever has any breaking news about the Pacers then I'll just find out some other way. It's not like the Star offers unique analysis in their Pacers stories.

I'll probably still read some of the Colts writers at the Star. But not all 3. I wonder if the Star will use view counts to "grade" their writers.

And I'll still read the IU basketball articles on the Star.

I'll just have to try and shoot for 5 articles or less per week. That seems do able.

Unclebuck
08-16-2012, 08:51 AM
I have not decided whether I am going to subscribe or not. I do read the Star and certainly more than just their Pacers coverage. I just wonder if they'll drop the price or at least offer a discount if you commit to 6 months or something like that

imawhat
08-16-2012, 09:49 AM
Which loyal customers are you talking about? If they are only alienating the people who were using the site for free, they aren't losing anything. Maybe I don't understand what you are saying.

All of the online ad revenue comes from views/impressions, so cutting off a majority of their online customer base does affect the ad revenue. We're probably talking $1-$2 per 1k impressions, but that can add up quickly.

In other words, there's no such thing as a free reader. I read the IndyStar daily, sometimes a few times a day and definitely a few stories a day, so I've probably earned the Star a few bucks.

I'd consider myself a loyal reader, but I can't justify paying $12/month for the Star. I can afford it, but it's a ridiculous price, imo. Here's what I think will happen: This high subscription rate will eliminate 90-95% of the Star's online readers while marginally cannibaliizing some of their print sales. They'll eventually lower the price to draw in more readers but most of the new audience they'll be looking to draw in will be long gone.

Sandman21
08-16-2012, 09:52 AM
They're still allowing 20 free articles every 30 days. So we don't have to abandon the Star entirely. I'll just plan on rationing my Star visits.
The Paywall is unenforceable when it comes to anyone who knows some computer networking and has a few email addresses handy.... ;)

imawhat
08-16-2012, 10:18 AM
If you look at the Star's monthly subscription it is about $20. Really very little of that is actually going towards the physical medium, most of it goes to the business men and women and the content creators.

The truth is they probably can't go cheaper than $12 and stay in business as they are. It is much easier to charge less when you are only a service, and not the content creators like Netflix.

This is probably what I disagree with most. Netflix has real costs; they have to license content since they don't own much, and it's costing well in excess of $1B/year. That content then expires and they're left with nothing. It's actually much better for them to create content because they then own it and have actual assets. This is why they're dipping their toes into content creation.

As for the Star and its ridiculous price: The New York Times spends $250M/yr in raw materials and circulates about 600M newspapers/year. If that translates to the Star, that's about $12.50 in monthly raw material costs for monthly print subscribers. That leaves less than $7.50 of profit to the Star before other operating costs, salaries, and other overhead.

This digital edition? There are little-to-no raw materials costs, fewer operating costs, and the way I look at it, little-to-no overhead since most staff is already employed for the print edition. That means $12/month has a much, much, much higher profit margin. Unless I'm missing something, it's almost pure profit.

Record labels can't go much cheaper than $40 for a digital album and stay in business as they are, but that doesn't justify a $40 album price, at all. The Star has to know the digital revenue earned from digital subscriptions will come nowhere close to compensating for the loss of physical print revenue, even with the much higher profit margins. There is no justification whatsoever for this high price. This is the Indianaplis Star, not a newspaper with hundreds of Pulitzer Prizes, top of the country journalists, and groundbreaking stories centered in the biggest city in the United States.

WhoLovesYaBaby?
08-16-2012, 12:32 PM
If they are losing that much money, they should fire Kravitz and a couple of other so-called reporters......:cool: ...

No kidding. Kravitz and Tully's careers are done. The few who read that mess of a paper will fall off now. The Indy star closes doors in 3 years. It was never worth reading when free.

joeyd
08-16-2012, 01:56 PM
I'd consider myself a loyal reader, but I can't justify paying $12/month for the Star. I can afford it, but it's a ridiculous price, imo. Here's what I think will happen: This high subscription rate will eliminate 90-95% of the Star's online readers while marginally cannibaliizing some of their print sales. They'll eventually lower the price to draw in more readers but most of the new audience they'll be looking to draw in will be long gone.

I am a loyal reader of predominantly the Sunday addition. If they are completely eradicating print subscriptions, then they will lose more than just a marginal number of their print subscribers. I enjoy reading a paper copy of the Star after spending most of my weekdays and weeknights on a computer. I rarely use the website. Most folks over 55 probably rarely want to go digital. Lose-lose situation for everyone as the deal is currently written, if I understand it correctly.

travmil
09-08-2012, 05:46 PM
Well I hit my 20 article limit earlier today. Decided I wasn't going to pay a dime for it. So, I surely thought that the Star wouldn't be stupid enough to allow you to simply clear your cache, cookies, and history out and get back in. I was wrong. I did exactly that, and went back to the site, my 20 article limit had been reset.

Mad-Mad-Mario
09-08-2012, 05:52 PM
Oh theres a 20 article limit I am totally good then. All I ever do is read the sports section.

Sandman21
09-08-2012, 05:56 PM
Well I hit my 20 article limit earlier today. Decided I wasn't going to pay a dime for it. So, I surely thought that the Star wouldn't be stupid enough to allow you to simply clear your cache, cookies, and history out and get back in. I was wrong. I did exactly that, and went back to the site, my 20 article limit had been reset.

Sssh, don't tell em that! You know Kravitz surfs here to write his Pacer-related articles! :D

notque
09-08-2012, 05:58 PM
This is so insane it sounds like a joke. It's not even a good version of a local paper, and the other states local papers are free. If the charge was $12 a year it might be reasonable, but at $12 a month they might as well just turn off their website entirely.

rabid
09-08-2012, 06:15 PM
This digital edition? There are little-to-no raw materials costs, fewer operating costs, and the way I look at it, little-to-no overhead since most staff is already employed for the print edition. That means $12/month has a much, much, much higher profit margin. Unless I'm missing something, it's almost pure profit.

You ARE missing something. Classified ads were the number 1 revenue source for print newspapers for decades, and that revenue stream has been devastated by craigslist and other internet sites. Print subscriptions have dropped dramatically as well, so the print edition is probably now just breaking even or maybe even operating at a loss.

So the online edition really can't be considered "pure profit" when the print edition isn't even making money anymore. The online edition now has to bring in more revenue than it did before.

Finally, unlike companies like Netflix and Hulu etc, newspapers have a large (though shrinking) staff of actual journalists, writers, editorial staff etc. that create the actual content. Labor costs as related to revenue are probably much higher at Indystar than to companies like Netflix.

------

Having said all that... the IndyStar is not a great paper to begin with, and their online Pacers coverage has been downright terrible for years now (not blaming Wells or Kravitz, the Indystar just hasn't resourced it well and they've made numerous bad editorial decisions).

$12 a month is kind of a joke really. It might work for a bigger-city paper with more content to offer - for example if that $12 got you access to ALL of the Gannett sites, then I could see it. But for IndyStar? Are you freaking kidding me? This is going to fail, and fail miserably... they need to lower the price to about $5 and dramatically increase the quality of the content.

The SF Chronicle is not a very good paper considering the size of the Bay Area, and I wouldn't pay $12 for it either, but it blows away the IndyStar... jmho

Eleazar
09-08-2012, 08:53 PM
This is probably what I disagree with most. Netflix has real costs; they have to license content since they don't own much, and it's costing well in excess of $1B/year. That content then expires and they're left with nothing. It's actually much better for them to create content because they then own it and have actual assets. This is why they're dipping their toes into content creation.

As for the Star and its ridiculous price: The New York Times spends $250M/yr in raw materials and circulates about 600M newspapers/year. If that translates to the Star, that's about $12.50 in monthly raw material costs for monthly print subscribers. That leaves less than $7.50 of profit to the Star before other operating costs, salaries, and other overhead.

This digital edition? There are little-to-no raw materials costs, fewer operating costs, and the way I look at it, little-to-no overhead since most staff is already employed for the print edition. That means $12/month has a much, much, much higher profit margin. Unless I'm missing something, it's almost pure profit.

Record labels can't go much cheaper than $40 for a digital album and stay in business as they are, but that doesn't justify a $40 album price, at all. The Star has to know the digital revenue earned from digital subscriptions will come nowhere close to compensating for the loss of physical print revenue, even with the much higher profit margins. There is no justification whatsoever for this high price. This is the Indianaplis Star, not a newspaper with hundreds of Pulitzer Prizes, top of the country journalists, and groundbreaking stories centered in the biggest city in the United States.

I don't think you quite understand the costs involved in the creation of content. Yes, with all of the shows and movies Netflix has streaming the licensing fees can get quite expensive when combined. When separated though those fees are nothing to a full production. What Netflix is doing with the production side is trying to attract more people to their service so that they can hopefully expand their offerings. This also means the cost to subscribe will most likely increase. Just look at a service such as HBO. It charges more than Netflix even though it has far fewer offerings because the cost to create that is far more than the cost to license 100 TV shows.

While the cost to keep servers up and running is not as much as creating something physical, it is also not as cheap as you think.

You also then need to realize, while the staff is on staff for the print edition. The amount of sales of the print edition is much lower than it was 5 or 10 years ago. So while their overhead costs are probably staying the same or even increasing, the amount of money they bring in through print is decreasing. It is probably to the point now that the print cannot sustain the Star on its own, even with online advertising helping to subsidize it. So yes the online version is sharing those overhead costs.

It is certainly possible the $12 is at a higher profit margin, but it most likely is probably rather small.

Yes, it is the Indy Star, and they don't operate on the scale of the NY Times, which is a national newspaper. So even though they have a smaller staff, they most likely also have a higher operating cost per subscriber than the New York times.


I'm not trying to argue that it is worth your money to subscribe to the Indy Star online. I am just trying to educate this board on the actual costs of something such as this. People see it is on the internet and just assume things should be cheaper than they need to be for the site to stay in business. The only reason why Netflix can charge what they do for streaming is because their streaming selection is not very good. They have a lot of TV shows, but their movies tend to be smaller less known movies and older movies. Yeah they do have a few blockbusters, but not very many. I mean just look at what people in this thread are suggesting. No online newspaper the size of the Star could survive on $12 a year subscription, or even $5 a month. The lack of understanding really isn't anyone's fault on here. I doubt the majority of people on here are even involved in these kinds of industries (not necessarily newspaper, but digital content) as I am. The people who are to blame for the lack are those who provide the content, but don't inform the people paying, or might be interested in paying, how much it actually costs them to run the business. What the IndyStar offers probably isn't worth $12, but I also doubt they can charge much less as they are currently structured. If the Star wants to stay in business they are going to have to make some drastic changes to their business structure.

Sandman21
09-08-2012, 09:16 PM
Can we put a $12 a month paywall in here just for Kravitz? :D

"Sorry Bob, you hit your 20 thread a month limit, you'll have to go dredge at another site for the rest of the month....":laugh:

Sollozzo
09-08-2012, 11:39 PM
Well I hit my 20 article limit earlier today. Decided I wasn't going to pay a dime for it. So, I surely thought that the Star wouldn't be stupid enough to allow you to simply clear your cache, cookies, and history out and get back in. I was wrong. I did exactly that, and went back to the site, my 20 article limit had been reset.


I wish I could thank you a thousand times for this. I tried it, and it worked for me too. I never would have thought of that.

imawhat
09-09-2012, 12:13 AM
You ARE missing something. Classified ads were the number 1 revenue source for print newspapers for decades, and that revenue stream has been devastated by craigslist and other internet sites. Print subscriptions have dropped dramatically as well, so the print edition is probably now just breaking even or maybe even operating at a loss.

So the online edition really can't be considered "pure profit" when the print edition isn't even making money anymore. The online edition now has to bring in more revenue than it did before.

What you're saying is that revenue/profit from the digital edition has to support all of Indystar because the print edition is operating at a loss. #1-I agree, and #2-the digital edition is still pure profit; the success/failure of the print edition has no bearing on the digital business model.


Finally, unlike companies like Netflix and Hulu etc, newspapers have a large (though shrinking) staff of actual journalists, writers, editorial staff etc. that create the actual content. Labor costs as related to revenue are probably much higher at Indystar than to companies like Netflix.

My friend's pool business has higher labor costs to revenue than both companies. That stat doesn't tell me what you want it to tell me.

Pound for pound, Netflix's labor costs are much, much higher than Gannett's. The average manager at Netflix makes 2 1/2 times more than a manager at Gannett; Directors make twice as much, and Vice Presidents make almost twice as much. Netflix has a reputation for paying at the top of their industry.

The average "actual journalist" salary at Gannett is $38k/year, which ranks close to the bottom 1/3rd of all Gannett salaries. Given their number of employees, wages is not a majority contributor to their overhead expenses.

And retail advertising is/has been the #1 revenue source for newspaper ad revenue, but I understand that wasn't your pont.

imawhat
09-09-2012, 01:34 AM
I don't think you quite understand the costs involved in the creation of content. Yes, with all of the shows and movies Netflix has streaming the licensing fees can get quite expensive when combined. When separated though those fees are nothing to a full production. What Netflix is doing with the production side is trying to attract more people to their service so that they can hopefully expand their offerings. This also means the cost to subscribe will most likely increase. Just look at a service such as HBO. It charges more than Netflix even though it has far fewer offerings because the cost to create that is far more than the cost to license 100 TV shows.

No, HBO charges more because consumers are used to paying for more. Warner Communications was doing fine on its own; it merged with Time Inc. partly because HBO was going to be a freaking cash cow. Also, HBO has to split subscriber revenue (maybe 40-60% of the $20/month) with other cable providers like Comcast, Cox, etc., whereas Netflix gets 100% of subscriber revenue.

You're not paying 2 1/2 times more for HBO because content costs for HBO are 2 1/2 times as much as Netflix.


While the cost to keep servers up and running is not as much as creating something physical, it is also not as cheap as you think.


I'm not sure how this affects HBO itself, Netflix or Gannett since a majority of the costs associated with the usage of their servers are fronted by mobile/cable providers. If you're referring to the sites for the respective companies themselves, along with storage, then Netflix's costs are the highest amongst the three.


You also then need to realize, while the staff is on staff for the print edition. The amount of sales of the print edition is much lower than it was 5 or 10 years ago. So while their overhead costs are probably staying the same or even increasing, the amount of money they bring in through print is decreasing. It is probably to the point now that the print cannot sustain the Star on its own, even with online advertising helping to subsidize it. So yes the online version is sharing those overhead costs.

IndyStar.com has been around for years, and its writers mainly write for the print edition. So no, outside of maybe a few new positions, this new business model has few additional overhead costs. I'm sure ChicagoJ or someone in his position can semantically disagree with that.


It is certainly possible the $12 is at a higher profit margin, but it most likely is probably rather small.

See above.


The only reason why Netflix can charge what they do for streaming is because their streaming selection is not very good.

I would say the opposite; the selection is good enough that they can charge $7.99/month. Outside of HBO and a few other partners, they have a very good selection that includes several of the best television series ever created, and up until the expiration of the Starz deal, they had a lot of mainstream full-length feature content. And if you read/believe Netflix, the share of views coming from those mainstream releases was relatively small compared to their higher level content, and that's why they didn't renew with Starz.

But I think I understand what you're saying. The cost of licensing more mainstream content would make it impossible for Netflix to charge $7.99 and still make a profit.


The lack of understanding really isn't anyone's fault on here. I doubt the majority of people on here are even involved in these kinds of industries (not necessarily newspaper, but digital content) as I am.

Heh! You'd be surprised if you knew what some of your boardmates did for a living. Maybe not.


The people who are to blame for the lack are those who provide the content, but don't inform the people paying, or might be interested in paying, how much it actually costs them to run the business. What the IndyStar offers probably isn't worth $12, but I also doubt they can charge much less as they are currently structured. If the Star wants to stay in business they are going to have to make some drastic changes to their business structure.

The key is your last sentence. It's a buggy whip business. Or maybe a better example of the future of IndyStar is what happened to the vinyl record industry. Vinyl (paid-subscription newspapers as a whole) was replaced by a more convenient medium (free content on the internet) and a lot of companies/jobs in the process. However, there are a few individual companies that still make vinyl records for the much smaller (than it used to be 25 years ago) contingent of consumers that prefer to listen to higher quality artists (New York Times) on vinyl (paid-subscription).

I think what's happening to IndyStar is unavoidable, but I think they're expediting their decline. They probably can't afford to charge less than $50/month, but that's not how pricing works. You have a few sustainable options as a business: #1-you charge the value of your service (Netflix), #2-you charge less than the value of your service as a loss leader (Amazon.com), or #3-you charge much more than the value of your service because you can get away with it (Apple).

graphic-er
09-09-2012, 01:41 AM
Firefox users, all you have to do is turn on private browsing whenever you want to visit Indystar.com, it will reset your article count. So you don't have to lose all your browser history and cookies from useful sites.

Pretty freaking hilarious that the entire premise of their business model can be worked around with a setting in your browser. Thats and epic fail on their part.

travmil
09-09-2012, 08:16 AM
Firefox users, all you have to do is turn on private browsing whenever you want to visit Indystar.com, it will reset your article count. So you don't have to lose all your browser history and cookies from useful sites.

Pretty freaking hilarious that the entire premise of their business model can be worked around with a setting in your browser. Thats and epic fail on their part.

Sadly, their epic fail will probably work on the majority of web users.

MnvrChvy
09-09-2012, 08:53 AM
If the Indy Star want to make their online business model work, they should invest more in articles that have a national appeal instead of just reposting whatever AP article is available. That and they need to fix their advertisements on the website. They are terrible sometimes. They make it hard to navigate without having popups all the time. In fact, serving up that content has to be a considerable drain on their servers even if it's just the scripts and not the content. You can tell because any time there is a national story in Indy where the Drudge Report or MSN links to the Star, the site takes FOREEEEEEEEVER.

Clean up the ads and make it relevant to a wider audience... you can just go ahead and name me CEO now. :D

Naptown_Seth
09-09-2012, 10:26 AM
Chicken and Egg really. Did lost revenues create weaker content or did weaker content kill revenues? I'm not sure, but the content is a lot worse than it was 20 years ago. It's bordering on Huffington Post AP compile rather than good local news. I do think they've tried to do more local LIFESTYLE articles in recent years, but local NEWS? They haven't been supporting that well for years. I can't imagine they have many quality journalists being given any quality time to do long research stories that really impact the community.

And having just rewatched The Wire I'm even more hyper-aware of these issues. So do I financially support a poor product in hopes that it rebounds and returns to filling a community need or do I avoid sending my implicit approval for the current content levels?

Pacerized
09-09-2012, 10:56 AM
It's sad that newspapers are quickly becoming a thing of the past but I think they are. I enjoy reading a newspaper but I also run a business that used to advertise in newspapers and doesn't any longer. I can run an ad in the newspaper for employment for a specialized position and get perhaps 2-3 applicants for $500 in 1 week. With Monster.com com I can get several hundred applicants and have multiple adds for 1 year for the same cost. With Craigslist I can get several dozen applicants for no cost. We ran a weekly full page newspaper ad for several years up until the paper went under at a cost of about $1200 weekly. I could have changed to the sole remaining local paper but went to a web based and direct mail program for about 25% of the cost. I'd say the results are 10 times as effective as the newspaper ad. I really don't know if there's a solution for newspapers to compete. Charging for Internet access may be a good idea but only if the cost are in line with the product which I'd say this isn't.

Sandman21
09-09-2012, 01:32 PM
Firefox users, all you have to do is turn on private browsing whenever you want to visit Indystar.com, it will reset your article count. So you don't have to lose all your browser history and cookies from useful sites.

Pretty freaking hilarious that the entire premise of their business model can be worked around with a setting in your browser. Thats and epic fail on their part.

Like I said weeks ago, the paywall is unenforceable to anyone who knows what they are doing.

idioteque
09-09-2012, 01:43 PM
In 2012, how can Gannett have such **** poor websites for their papers? Gannett is basically the Wal Mart of newspapers, I wish the Star was locally owned.

Hicks
09-09-2012, 03:28 PM
It seems like the only way they could enforce this is to require all readers to login and to have their servers do the counting instead of the users computers. And even then they might just register multiple accounts.

Bball
09-09-2012, 06:58 PM
I've noticed the limit is across the board with Gannett newspapers. At least the ones I've been to so far. It's not 20 articles per month on the Indystar site alone... If you are down to 1 article left at the Star and you happen to click a news story on some other Gannett news website, then you're limit will have been reached for that site you've never been to AND for the Star.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong (and maybe this has already been mentioned) but I don't think Gannett blogs count against your limit.

Eddie Gill
09-09-2012, 07:08 PM
Firefox users, all you have to do is turn on private browsing whenever you want to visit Indystar.com, it will reset your article count. So you don't have to lose all your browser history and cookies from useful sites.

Pretty freaking hilarious that the entire premise of their business model can be worked around with a setting in your browser. Thats and epic fail on their part.

And this is why I struggle to muster much sympathy for the newspaper business as a failing industry. It has been clear for a decade that print media needs a fundamental restructuring. Instead, they've been content to do exactly what the NUVO article described - loot whatever remaining silver they can find. If that is Gannett's answer to the very real and legitimate problems facing the industry, they deserve to fail. That isn't to say I hope they fail. I recognize an informed citizenry is critical to a healthy democracy and I shudder to think what will happen in the absence of any trusted, reliable news source (although I hesitate to even use those words in describing Indy Star in its current incarnation). It's evident the Star has been dying a slow, painful death for some time now, but this latest development could be a stake through the heart.

Unclebuck
10-05-2012, 08:27 AM
I hesitate to post this, but I'll do it anyway.

OK, so I decided just to go ahead and sign up for the online access. It has been probably 3 weeks and I certainly have gone well over my free limit, but they have not charged me yet. So I wonder what they are doing.

BRushWithDeath
10-05-2012, 09:02 AM
I'm willing to bet that the amount of people who are paying the $12 a month doesn't justify the amount lost in advertising fees due to the lost page views.

I used to visit the IndyStar website multiple times per day. But I can get the same news from other sites. For free. I miss their opinion pieces and the sports blogs but not enough to justify something with such easily replaceable content. Especially when it costs 50% more than my Netflix account with 1000% less content.

Mad-Mad-Mario
10-05-2012, 11:15 AM
Its been awhile since I tried seeing pacers and colts stuff but i was always able to reqd anything about the hoosiers. So something is amiss

Hicks
10-05-2012, 11:37 AM
It's pretty easy to get around the limit, so I still read what I want, which is usually just Pacers stuff.

indyaway
10-05-2012, 01:40 PM
It's pretty easy to get around the limit, so I still read what I want, which is usually just Pacers stuff.

Exactly. My browser clears all cookies when I exit it and I have no issue reading as many articles as I want. I'm sure if you just delete the indystar.com cookie you can avoid having to waste $144 a year.

Sparhawk
10-05-2012, 07:54 PM
Just ask Kodak Gallery how charging for online storage worked out for them? Oh, that's right, they are now out of business.

They did that in 2009 after they reached their highest peak in popularity. They never recovered and went out of business. Indy Star, learn from the past!

http://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=kodak%20gallery

BlueNGold
10-05-2012, 08:11 PM
The local news is the best news available. It may be the best source for unbiased reporting. I may consider buying it and I think at some point I might do that. Still, it all depends on if I have time to read the news. I would prefer buying 24 hours of access on demand for $1. Not sure that's available. There are some weeks where I just don't have time to read it.

travmil
10-08-2012, 10:37 PM
I hesitate to post this, but I'll do it anyway.

OK, so I decided just to go ahead and sign up for the online access. It has been probably 3 weeks and I certainly have gone well over my free limit, but they have not charged me yet. So I wonder what they are doing.

My guess is that they aren't getting many takers on their $12 per month robbery, so they are behind the scenes scrambling about what they should do.

Heisenberg
10-16-2012, 04:00 AM
I live in Crawfordsville. We've been blessed with not just one but two local papers for the last 8ish years. This is a community of about 15k people, on a good day.

Gannet just bought the Journal Review, which has been around since at least the 1890s. They aren't just buying up the major metro papers, they're buying the mom and pop's. And they're destroying local jobs in the process.

Eat a gigantic dick Gannet. I'm giving out subscriptions to The Paper of Montgomery County for Christmas this year.

jeffg-body
10-16-2012, 04:07 AM
I just go to WTHR now and get most of the same info.

CoolHand
10-16-2012, 07:15 AM
I live in Crawfordsville. We've been blessed with not just one but two local papers for the last 8ish years. This is a community of about 15k people, on a good day.

Gannet just bought the Journal Review, which has been around since at least the 1890s. They aren't just buying up the major metro papers, they're buying the mom and pop's. And they're destroying local jobs in the process.

Eat a gigantic dick Gannet. I'm giving out subscriptions to The Paper of Montgomery County for Christmas this year.

That sucks about the JR - I hadn't heard it. My mother is a former contributor to it (and a current contributor to the Paper).

travmil
10-22-2012, 08:59 PM
One thing I've noticed, however my employer has their network configured gets around the limit as well. Every single time I read an article from work the little flag pops up saying I have 20 free articles remaining. I can read one, have the message pop up, follow a link at the bottom of that very article and it will pop up on that one saying 20 again.

Sandman21
10-22-2012, 09:02 PM
One thing I've noticed, however my employer has their network configured gets around the limit as well. Every single time I read an article from work the little flag pops up saying I have 20 free articles remaining. I can read one, have the message pop up, follow a link at the bottom of that very article and it will pop up on that one saying 20 again.

Your browser is probably configured to dump cookies at the end of a browsing session.