Reuters is ending its "free lunch program" as we know it and evolving most of its content to a subscription-only model. The Wall Street Journal offers a great overview of Reuters' new approach, as well as a ranking of "top U.S. financial news and information sites." The most notable change will be how Reuters will drive consumers back to its site.
"To read most articles, readers will have to click on a link to Reuters's own Web site. Within the next year or so, some of that information -- such as material designed to help monitor companies or interviews with top business figures -- will be available by subscription only, a bid by Reuters to gain additional income. The new strategy takes effect June 1.
The change is the latest step in the evolution of business news on the Web that is designed to make it more profitable for the news operations that provide it, even if users balk at paying and bypass the site. Already, some of the Internet sites that have been big distributors of Reuters news say they won't be signing up for the slimmed-down service."
This could impact how public relations teams develop media relations strategies if the shift translates into less exposure for a Reuters placement. In my experience, if you track two stories over Reuters and The Associated Press, you'll see more Reuters pickup online and more AP pickup in print. This is anecdotal, but something to watch over the next few months as these changes occur.
Pringles Postscript: Based on the edible marketing post below, consider Pringles' packaging. The cardboard sleeve can is a snack food category classic. They could put the trivial pursuit cards in the can. They could stash them under the lid—much like the mini music cds that now are turning up in beverage lids.
This approach harkens back to earlier days when Pringles' owners, P&G, used to bury sets of dishes and drinking glasses in boxes of its powdered laundry detergent. "Cards in the can" take on the free prize effect and make the product a collectible. OK, 'nuff said. Can you tell it's lunchtime?