Business models of news Web sites: A survey of empirical trends and expert opinion (originally published in June 2003)

Fred Schiff


This paper is included in the First Monday Special Issue: Commercial Applications of the Internet, published in July 2006. For author reflections on this paper, visit the Special Issue.
The examination here yields eight business models that describe more or less comprehensively the commercial approaches to online news. Using the models, I review the secondary literature to see what has worked, what trends have emerged, and what the experts expect. Approximately 300 articles were reviewed, based on a search of those stories that appeared in the business and trade press in hardcopy and online in the past five years. Surprisingly, a consensus opinion exists among experts who predict that the interactive model offers the most promise of eventually capturing the majority of online news consumers. My intent is to develop the models to facilitate further empirical study of which news websites are most likely to survive and succeed in the dot-com shakeout beyond spring 2000.

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