The plan by The New York Times to license its iPad/iPhone publishing tool represents a big step forward for the newspaper industry.
The platform, simply called Press Engine, will be used by the Telegraph Media Group and newspapers such as Dallas Morning News, Providence Journal and Press-Enterprise in Southern California.
The publishers will pay the NYT a one-time license fee for the platform and then a monthly maintenance fee.
This is a great idea since it reduces the barrier to entry for small publishers, while at the same time, provides major newsppapers like the NYT a chance to experiment with a new revenue stream. This could be a viable business model. Just look at the software industry.
The app economy offers an alternative to the pay-wall model that some publishers have adopted. As I was telling an Indonesian newspaper editor last night, it’s time the industry took a page from the software industry — sell applications, not subscriptions. As a consumer, I’d be more likely to pay for an upgraded app with great features every six months. I wouldn’t — and have never — paid for an online subscription.