Post, Modern?

Does Paid Content understand paid content?

On June 18, the New York Post blocked access to its Web site for anyone running the Safari Web browser on an iPad. Presumably, the goal was to push consumers to the paper’s app. The Free World was outraged.

The usual accusations followed. Big thinker Dave Winer warned “this is breaking the web.” The paper was compared to a dictatorship: Paid Content reported “The NYP literally is blocking the web for a subset of users (usually that’s left to totalitarian regimes).” (Boldface theirs.) Failure was predicted: In the same post Paid Content called it “one of the most poorly conceived paywall efforts I’ve come across—and I’ve seen more than a few.” Ironically, of course, Paid Content never met a free online strategy it didn’t like.

And yet – wouldn’t you know it – the Post app is No. 12 on the list of top-grossing apps, according to Min Online. It’s hard to know how much this means: The list is vague, the battle for app revenue is still beginning, and the Post doesn’t report the kind of news most consumers seem to pay for. And, yet, there it is, the second-highest-grossing publication app after Zinio. And, with all apologies to Winer, the Web still works.

Perhaps soon it will start working for newspapers as well.



2 thoughts on “Post, Modern?

  1. I can understand the shock, but I find accusations of “blocking the web for a subset of users” highly amusing. Last I heard, nobody has a duty to make their online properties available to anyone. A website operator has every right to say: “not in those shoes, mate”. Maybe iPad users who want to access the NYP website should install a different browser – if its solely a Safari issue (Paid Content even suggest this workaround – which makes their subsequent rhethoric even more hollow).

    Regardless, the web isn’t being blocked. Access to a single website is. Winer is even more endearing when he despairs about what Apple thinks of this – as if that’s of any concern to NYP.

    (Aside: Apple has a history of playing hardball with app providers, so it’s high time they got a taste of their own medicine.)

    My uneducated guess is that we’re seeing an undercurrent of fear in commentary of this sort – that closed networks will supplant the Web for premium content access. Certainly, apps are seeing growing adoption that might render such a model plausible.

    Posted by Faza (TCM) | August 20, 2011, 4:23 am
    • >>>My uneducated guess is that we’re seeing an undercurrent of fear in commentary of this sort – that closed networks will supplant the Web for premium content access.

      That’s it exactly. It’s Google’s latest cause, since it can’t monetize closed networks like iStuff or Xbox. And it’s being sold as a moral issue.

      Posted by roblevine1 | August 21, 2011, 9:20 pm

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