How Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce print version survives
Keegan Hamilton of the Seattle Weekly writes about how the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce newspaper is able to survive, and it’s not just the revenue that comes in from legal advertising.
Hamilton wrote, “Though Brown declines to comment on what percentage of his paper’s revenue comes from public notices, he says the DJC by no means subsists solely on state-mandated advertising. In fact, the paper is a powerhouse in the Northwest construction beat, with contractors as far away as Alaska poring over its pages looking for projects on which to bid.
“While government-funded construction projects require a public notice soliciting bids, the DJC‘s pages are teeming with bid requests and advertisements for private contractors as well. ‘Everyone uses it,’ says Carrie Hansel, an estimating assistant at ACC Hurlen Construction in West Seattle. ‘That is the publication for construction for this area. We advertise in it, we put our bid requests in it. If people want a response, they put it in the DJC. It’s just always been that way; I don’t know why, if they captured the market niche early in life or what. But I’ve been here for six years…that’s all I’ve known.’
“Though the DJC faces competition from other national construction-bid aggregators like Onvia.com and McGraw-Hill, it has remained the standard locally because of its online innovation. In addition to djc.com, the pay-for-access Web site, the paper also offers plancenter.com, which, for more than $2,000 a year, allows contractors to download and view plans for potential projects.
“‘It’s a pretty sophisticated system,’ says Brown proudly.
“When asked why the DJC charges for access to its online version, which includes public notices, Brown responds, ‘I would go about it the other way and ask why do so many other people give away their content for free?'”
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