“As recently as a few months ago, we thought it was premature for POLITICO to start asking readers to pay for content, outside of Pro. But, it is increasingly clear that readers are more willing than we once thought to pay for content they value and enjoy. With more than 300 media companies now charging for online content in the U.S., the notion of paying to read expensive-to-produce journalism is no longer that exotic for sophisticated consumers. This is a very promising, if uncertain, trend in our country,” – the machers at Politico.
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Politico also ran “sponsored content” on its home page for the first time today. I have to say they’ve done it right. First off, they have a new name for it: “sponsor-generated content.” That’s more honest that just “sponsored content”, it seems to me, because it makes it clear that this has absolutely not been written by the staff of Politico. The by-line is also clearly from a CEO from the National Retail Federation. The delineation of this as advertorial is also clear, on the front-page and the page itself. I’d have a slightly larger font for the disclosure on the actual article, because the headline of the piece overshadows it and readers could easily be fooled.
The content is as lame as an advertorial usually is. But it’s clearly an advertorial. Which has always been my point: not against advertizing as such as a revenue stream for journalism, but against the fusion and confusion of advertizing with journalism.