Newspapers used to be two-sided media: sold to readers and to advertisers. The more readers one had, the more it could reap in advertising revenue. The more advertising revenue, the more resources to attract readers.
Now newspapers have turned into multi-sided media: to readers and advertisers traditionally in print, to online readers free, to online advertisers and to advertisers using both.
"If one alters the free price online to create a paying audience, it not only affects the willingness of online advertisers to pay, but affects the willingness of joint audiences and advertisers to pay and thus effects performance of the print sales as well," Picard writes.
As a result, he says it's not easy to monetize newspapers. Those who choose to do so need to weigh carefully the effect on the other sides of the piece.