Saving the newspapers. A modest proposal.

You know I am a fan of the Newspapers. I've written about it several times, wondering out loud whether our collective desire to get everything for cheaper and cheaper, eventually for free, would eventually kill them. This topic has been discussed a lot in the press and blogs as well.

What if we apply the principles of viral marketing to supporting newspapers?

How would that work?

What if a paid subscriber of newspaper N is offered the following: For each of your friends who you get to sign up for a subscription, you (personA) get something off every issue that you receive, as do they (personB).

As long as PersonB subscribes, they both get a small bounty. Furthermore, this work down the line, for every subscriber that PersonB signs up, they (PersonC) as well as PersonB get a small bounty. And PersonA gets a smaller bounty.

Some details need to be worked out :) In particular the financial model. The mathematics are not that hard and we could work out how big a bounty could be sustained under various assumptions. I think it could work.

The beauty is that this is a combined marketing/circulation program which could be implemented by the paper itself without creating complicated new agencies, non profits, or NGOs.

Maybe this idea is not the one, but does it inspire others? What, you say this idea isn't original? Sorry!. With everything and everyone blogging each idea that pops into their head (yours truly included) it's hard to know what's original!
Posted on February 14, 2009 and filed under Life.