It’s a tempting thought ripe with disaster. Might work for a precious few highly specialized media like WSJ, but not for many others. Therefore, it’s a cul-de-saq.
1. There is little personal payoff in buying news, unlike music or stock info.
2. Professional newssites have limited edge on news, Wikipedia often beats your average English language news site.
3. Eywitness news may have more appeal than wire, think Hudson River and Mumbai.
4. When wikis, flickr, Twitter and the next five social media merge their «output», they’ll be tough competition for paysites.
5. When you buy an album or a song, you’ll most likely have heard and liked it. The news story will often disappoint, and therefore discourage future transactions.
6. Micro payments are cumbersome and prone to scams.
7. Paywalls shut websites off from social media, no linkage.
8. Fighting free newssites and filesharers will turn media companies into music industry, only more despised since their product is less original.
9. The paywall will discourage innovation in online advertising.
10. The paywall may discourage innovation in online news storytelling and participation, thus keeping old models alive on overtime.