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The desperate acts of an ailing newspaper industry

As most of us know, in the modern digital world, the sharing of content is positively & actively encouraged; you can see this on virtually every page of every website. This, it has been discovered, increases awareness of content, and thus traffic to your website. Every business under the sun is now actively creating “social media ” and “content marketing” strategies.

However, it appears that the UK’s once powerful, but ailing newspaper industry have decided they prefer the old world. I guess that they have no idea how the modern world operates, and their business models are so old nobody knows how, or has the courage to, change them. So the 8 major newspaper groups in the UK have set up The Newspaper Licencing Agency (The NLA). The NLA  exists with the sole purpose of trying to squeeze as much out of the old world before it disappears. However, they seem to have overlooked the fact that what they are doing is actually causing their own industry’s premature demise.

Now I understand that good journalism costs money, and I understand that reporters and editors want to be paid too, but all ancient industries needs to change, and, as the music and film industries have found out, you can’t fight evolution. Does anyone remember the “Home Taping is Killing Music” campaigns?  – I don’t think it did.

Clearly, most of us now read most of our news on-line (and mostly for free), and as a consequence, the newspaper industry is struggling as the sales of newspapers diminish. (Personally, I still buy a Sunday paper, but read daily news from the BBC & Google). However, the moment you start to restrict the flow of news headlines, you are killing access to the very audience you want to buy your product.

PharmiWeb.com uses a news feed from a reputable news service called Moreover. The news headlines are fed to us and we display those on the homepage of the website.  Should any unsuspecting visitor click on one of these headlines, they are immediately taken away from the site and to the origin of the news, wherever it may be. The NLA in the wisdom have decided that this should be £icensed: and the license is based on the number of staff we have – regardless of who does what and what we do with the content.

So forgive me if I’m missing something here. The traffic that I send from PharmiWeb.com – directly to the content source (some of whom are their members)… they want ME to pay for? Surely, I should be charging them for sending them traffic?

I’m sure if I asked the newspapers to pay ME to host my classified advert (After all I wrote it, so the copyright is mine) – they would laugh.

I believe that The  NLA (Newspaper Licencing Agency) are currently in the process of hammering in their own industry’s coffin nails.  I for one, have removed any NLA content from my website.

Time to rethink your business model guys.

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