Tuesday, March 28, 2006

"Variety" -- Scared Of The Web

Every other week, trade publications like Variety and Billboard don't seem to know what to do about their online content. Should they provide all their stories free of charge? Should they limit only to subscribers? Should they reach out to people who will NEVER by a massively expensive subscription to Variety? Should reviews be available but not news stories? Should the box office charts be sacred ground? All reasonable questions -- all of them with answers that seem to change daily. For a while, Variety made news stories available completely if you watched a brief ad. Stupidly, instead of selling that ad space, they kept showing the same ad...for a subscription to Variety. Uh, since I'm watching the ad specifically to AVOID buying a subscription to Variety, doesn't that seem kind of dumb? They've switched again today. Now, reviews are available, but stories can only be read if you subscribe. I don't know what the right choice is (though my guess is people with subscriptions from their companies don't care if schmucks like me can read stories after sitting through an ad). But it is fun to watch them dither.

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