Thursday, March 04, 2010

El Mundo Goes Into Orbyt

The newspaper El Mundo has become the first of the major Spanish papers to go for a new mode of paid for content. Starting next week is a new service called Orbyt which will cost €15 a month for subscribers who will get access to the contents of the paper edition as well as a range of other services. Quite how this will affect the rest of the content currently offered free on the paper's website is unclear, but the suggestion that access to El Mundo's archives will be part of the new service indicates that it may no longer be available for nothing.

It's a risky strategy to make too much of your content available only to those prepared to pay, El Mundo owes the strong position of its website to the fact that it made more content available at a time when others such as El País tried to get people to subscribe. It truly tests the loyalty of your readers in an age when so much information is freely available. The challenge now will be to see how the other Spanish papers respond to the precedent. In the meantime your conspiracy theories will cost more money! At the same time as they seek to charge for content I read recently that El Mundo has an ever greater number of "becarios" working on the paper whose initial three month placements have been indefinitely extended whilst the paper has shed journalists. Quality and price don't necessarily go together.

In other news from the media front it seems that the newest Spanish paper, Público, is now getting its third editor as Felix Monteira departs to take on the difficult task of communications director for the government. His replacement, Jesús Maraña, has been with the paper since it began. In addition to all of this tomorrow will see the launch of a new web-based journalism platform called Cuarto Poder, involving a number of experienced Spanish journalists.

1 comment:

Lee said...

Good. Maybe they'll go out of business. I really don't see El Mundo readers forking over 15€ a month. As for the poor becarios...well, that says a lot about the crap quality of a lot of their stories (at least twice El Mundo has taken stories from the American humor site The Onion and published it as if it were true). And once years ago, on International Women's Day, a WOMAN writer wrote an "expose" insisting that the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, one of the most awful, famous and well documented tragedies in US labor history, had never happened. "No evidence". Pinheads.