iTunes for journalism?


It occurred to me while glancing at this “debate” between Clay Shirky and Steven Brill about paying for content on the web that I am much more likely to pay an individual journalist, or even pay for a particular article, than I am to pay for a newspaper. 

I guess it is like the difference between buying iTunes tracks or whole albums. I prefer buying tracks, and may even end up buying some very specific albums, but I feel ripped off if forced to buy all those dodgy tracks they squeeze in with the good stuff if only given the choice of buying complete albums.

Given that iTunes is now the biggest music retailer in the US can’t someone in the newspaper industry get their head out of their arse and work it out?

6 thoughts on “iTunes for journalism?

  1. Think that this is a great idea, but most of the news paper industry are still "getting their heads out of their arses" when understanding the web… let alone ITunes. How about Pay Per Click news?


  2. I guess it is the newpaper companies being blinded by their own "brilliance":"Why would anyone want to buy just an article when the everything is just too magnificent?" Once they get over that hurdle maybe they can look about where the arse vice is. Nice image btw 🙂


  3. While elegantly simple, it’s a culturally dangerous idea. It negates the ‘risk’ of discovery, accidental joy and actually broadening your outlook overall. How do you ever discover new music/styles etc if you only buy the tracks you want? It also encourages ‘lazy’ consumption, the notion being that if it isn’t within your narrow parameters of what you like that you won’t be bothered to even try and consume/understand. You end up with an audience who become increasingly closed off to new experiences and wothout the attention span to stick with anything they perceive as ‘difficult’. Just as my favourite albums are ones which often took YEARS to get into. My favourite writers aren’t necessarily the ones I’d have picked, especially if based on what I thought I ‘knew’ when I was, say, a teenager.We seem to live in a world where people can’t be bothered to stick at anything hard anymore, all under the auspices of getting ‘value’.


  4. Absolute bollocks Chris. Whose to say my choice isn’t for "hard" writing? Why does being limited by someone else’s idea of quality make me more like to find good stuff?I had all but stopped listening to music before iTunes but ow thanks to that and services like Spotify I discover all sorts of stuff I would never have otherwise come across. Yes I buy what I "want" but what I discover I "want" has exploded!


  5. We’re considering doing this at my company, Broadersheet.For example – that FT article you really want to read, but don’t want to have to pay for a month subscription? pew, a nice simple small transaction and you’re done.


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