The Paradox for Business Standard Newspaper- To Charge or Remain Free


It is pretty interesting how business newspapers never fail to provide its readers with detailed information about every strategic move of the company. If at all, a company is caught doing something that they are not supposed to, they’d definitely end up being on the front page of the newspaper. But another thing that is very interesting is how these newspapers never mention anything about their strategic moves. You’d hardly ever find any information about them or anyone else from the peer group in the newspapers.

Clean and Neatly Organized Paper

Business Standard is one of the most popular newspapers. While there are newspapers, like Economic Times, Financial Express and Business Line that are more popular, Business Standard has always maintained its neat and clean appeal. It also offers e-newspaper, in which there is a detailed summary of every important news from their newspaper.

Maximum Information in Single Capsule

While you can subscribe to several newspaper updates, Business Standard is definitely the best of them all. Somehow, they always manage to provide maximum information in a single capsule. Readers appreciated the fact and Business Standard was their go-to option for several years.

Charge for its Editorial Started

But while the e-newspaper was free of cost, Business Standard Newspaper started charging for these editorials. And not just charging, they started charging the same amount as one was required to pay to subscribe to their physical paper spreadsheets. While BS tried to increase the revenue with this move, it was not expecting to receive negative consequences.

BS Editorials Out of Circulation on the Internet

For instance, a large number of bloggers used to link their blogs to the articles of BS. But with BS now charging for the e-newspaper, bloggers stopped linking their blogs to their articles as readers would not be able to read them unless they haven’t paid for the same. This has substantially reduced the circulation of BS on the internet. Moreover, a lot of online readers have now subscribed to physical newspapers through online portals, like NewsPaperKart, which does the job of delivering physical newspapers to the home of the subscribers.

While Economic Times doesn’t charge for its e-newspaper, one is not allowed to copy the contents of their article for free. But the links to their article can be added to blogs, other articles, etc. and readers can read the article of Economic Times for free.

Should Newspapers Charge Internet Editions or Keep Them Free?

The main problem here for Business Standard Newspaper and actually all the other papers is whether they should charge for e-newspapers or not. If we talk about the newspaper spreadsheets, they are highly subsidized as the majority of the costs involved in publishing them were covered with the help of advertisements. Increasing the circulation to further increase the reach of the newspaper and allow more people to read the news is how newspapers make money.

Indians are Not Yet Comfortable with the Idea of Paying for Online News

However, the same dynamics do not work on the internet. People do not like to pay and thus, major emphasis is laid on keeping things free. Especially, when it is an e-newspaper, charging becomes a major problem. As soon as a newspaper starts charging for their online editions, people shift to other platforms as there is never a shortage of good alternative options. This reduces the circulation of the newspaper that is charging for its e-newspapers.


So, what can be done? Business newspapers that spend so much time on inspecting and analyzing other companies should start doing the same in their industry. Currently, the things are a lot more complicated for them as compared to others. All these major newspapers are facing a severe challenge by a very large community on the internet that is publishing great content free of cost.