Imagine a restaurant which offers a three-course lunch, but also includes a snack bar in the price, in case customers don’t have appetite or time for the full three-course meal. But for people who don’t want the full three-course meal, wouldn’t it make better sense to sell them only the snack bar, individually, versus waste all the raw ingredients, labor and delivery on producing the full-course lunch which never gets eaten?
The NYTimes reports that The Philadelphia Inquirer and its sister paper, The Daily News, are trying to address people who claim they are too busy to read the entire paper. The newspapers now are giving readers a prominent color digest of the newspapers, right in the newspapers themselves. Why don’t newspapers – local and national – simply invest in mobile distribution? Or how about a Web interface to create customized news digests, optimized for people to print out themselves at home or at the office?
“This is an attempt to say, ‘If you can’t get to the whole paper, that’s okay, here’s a summary,’ ” a spokesman for the papers said. “We want to help people feel it’s a good value and they won’t cancel their subscriptions.”
I don’t pretend to understand the newspaper business.