Monday, January 30, 2006

HighBeam Expands both Free and Premium Content Offerings to Grow Base of Quality Content

If you've been stopping by HighBeam Research as of late you no doubt have noticed that the search results from the HighBeam Library highlight both premium and free sources available from the online research service. Today this live "Beta" has been dubbed officially successful, as HighBeam announces the availability of both formerly premium sources such as BusinessWire, Financial Management and Science News for free via the HighBeam Library as well as high-quality sources from the open Web such as American History, CIO, Financial Advisor, Inc. and Wine Enthusiast. HighBeam will also gain free content shortly from the Oxford University Press, including The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English and The Oxford Pocket Thesaurus of Current English, while Oxford will also contribute additional premium content to HighBeam's reference collection. The HighBeam Library will also see new premium contributions from the archives of the Washington Post and Knight Ridder newspapers.

Alexa stats show overall visits to HighBeam to be stabilizing somewhat over the past several weeks so the combination of premium and free content in a consolidated index is certainly finding some appeal among online researchers. This mix of monetization models is most likely to service the needs of online searchers who care far less about how content is gathered and licensed and far more about whether it actually does them any good. Putting free and paid sources of equivalent quality side-by-side is the best way to service these discriminating users who can choose their level of financial engagement accordingly. HighBeam is offering incremental steps towards unified searching of free and premium content, but they are steps headed in the right direction to be sure.
Post a Comment