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The news world order

March 11, 2010

Great thoughts from Hal Varian of Google:

“The fact of the matter is that newspapers have never made much money from news,” says Varian.  They make money from “special interest sections on topics such as Automotive, Travel, Home & Garden, Food & Drink,, and so on.”

So true. Hard news in general is a hard sell. Online it is even more difficult because it is essentially a commodity; you can get the day’s headlines from anywhere, so why pay for it?

Online versions of major newspapers have a chance if they can start to make money off of the various specialty sections, like cars or consumers electronics or the like. On those sections, they could cut deals with advertisers or online retailers that specialize in whatever is relevant to that particular section.

via Google’s Chief Economist: “Newspapers Have Never Made Much Money From News”.

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