This morning I read that Entertainment Weekly’s EW.com will be going behind a paywall, and I read that Kim Kardashian has announced that she’s pregnant with her second child.
And that’s a problem. Not for Kim and Kanye. But for Entertainment Weekly. Because after I read both of those stories, it instantly occurred to me that much of what EW.com publishes interests millions of fans. But not much of it is exclusive news. Or if it is, it’s quickly pilfered by all the other fan sites.
I Googled “Kim pregnant” and discovered that as of about noon today, there are 1,036 articles about the pregnancy. Usmagazine.com, the sort-of EW competitor, noted this too, and headlined its story, “Kim Kardashian Is Pregnant And Everyone On The Internet Made The Same Exact ‘Southwest’ Joke,” which is totally accurate and is a good example of how quickly the stories grew, and how similar many of them are. (Kim and Kanye's first child is named North West, if you missed the joke.)
On YouTube, there are pages and pages of videos listed, including, prominently, one from Entertainment Weekly. On EOnline.com, the story is detailed under the “most read” banner.
Time Inc. will put all or many of its titles behind a paywall, and using Entertainment Weekly as a test case to see how it will fly. I don’t think they will be too happy, because to build a successful pay operation, it seems,to me you have to have something that is unique.
It is logical to believe ardent fans can’t get enough glitz and gossip, but when so much of it is free, it would seem a paywall is scaled far too high to climb. It would stop me.
Similarly, the pay mode also will stop thousands of YouTube fans from following their faves when its pay version finally gets going. Fans will know exactly what they are missing--because they once watched those YouTube vloggers for free--and know that while there are many unique YouTube characters, well, there are many, many YouTube characters. Each one is unique but as a kind of entertainment, many of them are pretty similar.
DETROIT'S FASCINATING SOCIAL SET: Sometimes, my eyes glaze over when I read stories about the millions and billions of hits, visits, engagements, uniques etc. various sites or social networks have. But when it gets broken down a little, it’s seems to tell a more relatable, interesting story.
TVNewscheck.com published social media data about Detroit-centered Web sites, from a company called Shareablee, that shows that in for six months ending May 28, a dozen Detroit media properties accounted for 18.8 million social interactions, overwhelmingly from Facebook (18.5 million), and much less so from Twitter and Instagram.
They came from, also overwhelmingly, WJBK-TV, the Fox station in Detroit, which accounted for 5.8 million of them. The average media property saw a 64% increase in social interactions compared to the previous six months, and also posted 23% more.
News, to me, at least, was how overwhelmingly Facebook was the social locale of choice. Twitter had only 196,000 “social actions,” (likes, shares, retweets, favorites) and Instagram just 134,000. Compared to Facebook’s 18.5 million, Twitter and Instagram seem wildly insignificant.