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Rupert Murdoch
Murdoch plans to work with hardware and software providers to reach his goals

Print magazines and newspapers are fighting a battle today against free content that is readily available online and the need to charge for their content. Many in the newspaper industry say that quality content is not cheap and that it shouldn't be offered for free.

One of the loudest voices in the newspaper world is News Corp's Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch said Wednesday that, "We intend to charge for all our news websites. We will go down in journalism history as either the seminal moment when the industry came back from the internet abyss or this century's version of into the valley of death, rode the six hundred."

Murdoch says that the entity that is able to find a new method of recouping the cost of producing content will not only see its own profits soar, but will allow the entire industry to profit as well.

Murdoch said, "The digital revolution has opened up many new and inexpensive methods of distribution but it has NOT made content free."

The Examiner reports that Murdoch is not looking for a White House commission or changes in copyright law to rescue the ailing print publication industry. It seems that Murdoch has a decent base to build a new business model on. He points out that since his company bought the Wall Street Journal, the publication has expanded both print and online subscriptions, showing that there is still an audience that is willing to pay for content.

The WSJ is the only U.S. paper according to Murdoch that has been able to grow online and print business during the recession. Murdoch is looking to more than simply charging people to read online content as a way to boost profits. He said, "Right now we're working with software, hardware, and other publishers within the industry to develop a model that works for consumer. Beyond the economics, it is crucial we maintain a direct relationship with our customers."

Part of this plan is the introduction of an eReader that could possibly be sold along with a subscription based on contract of a specific length in a similar fashion to how mobile phones are sold. The idea of charging for content isn't a new thought for Murdoch; he has called for all newspapers to charge for content before. There are twinges of Murdoch trying to make nice with readers though, perhaps he took Google's Eric Schmidt's advice when Schmidt said don't "piss off" readers.

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Don't Count Murdoch Out Yet
By utahduck on 8/6/2009 10:58:56 AM , Rating: 3
Most newspapers are losing money left and right trying to figure out what to do. At least Murdoch realizes that giving your content away and "just throwing up some ads" is not a viable business model. If anybody can figure out how to make news profitable again, it will be Murdoch.

RE: Don't Count Murdoch Out Yet
By Bateluer on 8/6/2009 11:09:43 AM , Rating: 2
The solution is simple, obvious, and staring us right in the face. Ebook readers with cell phone wireless. User buys a Newspaper sub for less money than a dead tree edition, its downloaded directly to their device at 0600 every morning, ready for them to read. It can be saved to a number of other devices for archival and storage, rather than tossed in the trash or recycle bin. The distribution costs are virtually nill, you won't need large printing presses and the resources to support them, etc, so you can focus on reporting the news.

RE: Don't Count Murdoch Out Yet
By utahduck on 8/6/2009 11:20:55 AM , Rating: 2
I'd love to see it, but I think the up-front costs are too much. If they could put those eBook readers on some sort of subscription cost. You know: you get the reader for "free" or at a minimal price but you need to buy $30 of content per month for the next 2 years type of deal. Much like the cell phone business model.

Until then, eBook readers are too far out of reach of most people... especially in this economy. Believe me, I so dearly want one!

RE: Don't Count Murdoch Out Yet
By Bateluer on 8/6/2009 11:30:20 AM , Rating: 2
I have no problem with them selling an ebook reader at a vastly discounted price with the purchase of a set subscription length, say 2 years. Cell phone companies do this all the time. Sign a 2 year contract, get a free phone or major discount on a higher end phone.

RE: Don't Count Murdoch Out Yet
By Iaiken on 8/6/2009 2:07:46 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt it will be too long before we see some sort of large flexible screen that people can display purchased print media on. Such a device would be large enough that it is comfortable to hold and read from and allows users to rapidly traverse information like they already do online.

Oh it is to dream...

RE: Don't Count Murdoch Out Yet
By Dobs on 8/6/2009 11:29:56 PM , Rating: 2
at 0600 every morning

So where do you go for 'Breaking News'?
This is all I pretty much look at all the time, because I get to choose what is important... no what the newspaper thinks is important for me.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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