Paid content model becoming less popular
Not entirely unexpectedly, B2B publishers are more inclined to charge for content than B2C publishers. Is it because B2B publishers position themselves as providers of “intelligence” while their B2C counterparts are perceived to be providers of “information”? (Or it could simply be that the payments for the content in one case is likely to come from company expense accounts while for the other it is supposed to come out from personal wallets :)).
Either way, with online advertising- in particular display advertising- enjoying a boom time (http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?1003904 ), publishers probably realize the futility of trying to get more paying customers for their content, when they could generate lots more revenue with free readers that can be acquired at a much lower cost.
May be a model where publishers bundle their content offering with another product/service may be the way to go for publishers who want to charge for providing accessing their content. An example of this as I see it is the Affiliate Classroom magazine (I am sure there are plenty more), where the main product offering is the access to all the “training” material offered by the Classroom for a monthly subscription fee, with the monthly magazine thrown in as an important part of the package. The monthly magazine generates advertising revenue. Getting the best of both worlds…