Scroll CEO Tony Haile. Art by Matt Vascellaro.
Friday Opinion

The Trouble With News Bundles

By  |  May 26, 2017 7:00 AM PDT
Photo: Scroll CEO Tony Haile. Art by Matt Vascellaro.

Last week, The Information Editor-in-Chief Jessica Lessin suggested in a column that an aggregated news bundle on the cable model could be a solution to the news industry’s business model woes. An all-access pass could indeed be better for consumers and make for a more elegant web experience. And it isn’t going to happen.

Given the minimal marginal costs of serving content, a bundle makes a lot of sense. It offers the consumer better value and the publisher makes more money. But there is a big wrinkle in the formula: Until the volume of subscribers in the bundle is great enough to offset the reduction in average revenue per user, the bundle is a bad deal for publishers.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
Media/Telecom Entertainment
Warner-Discovery Deal Talks Thrust John Malone and David Zaslav Into Spotlight
Discovery CEO David Zaslav. Photo by Bloomberg.
AT&T is effectively throwing in the towel on entertainment. The telecom giant is in talks to sell WarnerMedia to Discovery Inc., the John Malone–controlled TV firm, said a person familiar with the situation. If the deal is consummated—and antitrust scrutiny will be a potential stumbling block—it will scramble the streaming video market just as it has entered a...
Latest Briefs
 
Bill Gates Left Microsoft Board Amid Probe Into Prior Relationship
AT&T In Talks to Merge Media Businesses with Discovery
Court Blocks Facebook’s Bid to Stop U.S.-EU Data Transfer Ruling
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
A photo (top left) of a suspected detention center next to Artux Kunshan Industrial Park in Xinjiang, where an Apple supplier operated. Apple CEO Tim Cook (right). Photos by AP; Bloomberg. Collage by Mike Sullivan
Exclusive Asia Apple
Seven Apple Suppliers Accused of Using Forced Labor From Xinjiang
Advanced-Connectek has made unglamorous but critical computer components for Apple for more than a decade.
Illustration by Laurent Bazart
Startups Markets
As SPAC Market Unravels, Startups Seek Alternatives
After the coronavirus pandemic jump-started demand for prescription delivery services, six-year-old Capsule Pharmacy decided to raise money to expand into new cities, hoping to target more customers who don’t want to visit pharmacies in person.
Tourists followed a tour guide through a backstreet in Florence, Italy, in 2017. Photo: Bloomberg
Policy Travel
Airbnb Confronts Tighter Rules on Rentals as Pandemic Ebbs
As Airbnb works to reinvigorate its business after the pandemic all but extinguished travel to urban destinations, it is confronting a fresh threat from regulators intent on limiting the number of homes they allow to be rented out to tourists.
A still image from WPTV news footage of a truck crash last November in Palm Beach County, Fla. Image courtesy of WPTV
TI Investigation Amazon E-commerce
The Deadly Toll of Amazon’s Trucking Boom
Abdullah Baidas had just pulled over to help the victims of a minor traffic accident on a freeway north of Houston when the truck with the blue smiley-face logo on its side shattered his body.
A ‘Welcome Back!’sign on a Google building in Mountain View, Calif. Photo: Bloomberg
Google Facebook
Under Pressure From Employees, Tech Companies Relax In-Office Policies
An internal Google employee message board lit up last Wednesday morning as news of what many staff perceived as a more relaxed policy for working remotely circulated.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, on the left, leaving the courthouse last week. Photo by Bloomberg.
News Analysis Apple
Midway Through Apple-Epic Trial, Apple Maintains Its Advantage
App developers are rooting for Epic Games to win its court battle against Apple. Yet some prominent developers told The Information they have grown concerned that the ongoing antitrust trial between Apple and Epic could hurt their own efforts to take on Apple and redefine who controls the economics of consumer apps.