Fred Wilson writes that Dow Jones’ decision to buy MarketWatch for $519 million signals a triumph of free, ad-supported model over subscription-based content.
The three debates that I recall causing the most heartache were:
* Paid vs Free – Should this business be totally ad supported or should it be subscription based?
* News vs Analysis – Should this business focus on just reporting the news or should it focus an investment analysis?
* Content vs Data – Should this business be mostly a journalistic endeavor or should it be a data aggregation business (like My Yahoo)?
Well it sure appears that Marketwatch got it right and TheStreet.com and Dow Jones got it wrong.
Red Herring Blog adds: “Whether its dating or news, selling stuff from your attic at auction or creating order out of chaos in a search engine (algorithms based on creative insight into data – Google is much more like Match.com than an operating system), the network is only a conduit for human activity. Why is VoIP taking off? Because people want to talk cheap. Why are travel sites popular? Because people travel and want a good deal, not because travel sites exist its the result of marketing to peoples desires for a great hotel room at a good price. Every once in a while, the glaring lesson of these realities hits me in the face, this week to the tune of at least $519 million.”