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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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2 simple reasons why this will fail
By nafhan on 8/6/2009 11:16:39 AM , Rating: 2
1. It's possible to make money with the free ad-supported business model. It's easy to find MANY examples of this without even trying very hard (DailyTech, you guys are making money, right?)
2. At least some of his competitors will realize this

If he's not making money off his websites, it's a problem with his corporate structure and/or the content they are delivering, not the internet!
Just a thought, but maybe News Corp and others need to seperate the "news" business from the newspaper and content distribution business. The first is information and the second is creation of a physical product. These are seperate things and should be treated as such.

By TheEinstein on 8/6/2009 12:22:16 PM , Rating: 2
And there is no way he will sink himself. If this starts to fail fast, and if the whiplash is severe enough, he will revert on a dime.

This strong talk is to try to make it sound like he really will, so he can get investors to back it, so he can try to get others to do the same, and so forth.

The issue I see is his websites are memory intensive, huge downloads, they refresh automatically at and that eats bandwidth. He has a lot of ways to slash costs on that and not reduce the quality.

First he needs to fire his whole internet development team, I mean utterly murder the bunch, then go out and say "5 people wanted, html or php geeks, to develop something we can put stories up in, and headlines"

Hire 10 such teams and pit them against each other for a hail mary of a prize. That prize is their groups names/company name embedded in the pages of his websites. Plus free press wont hurt either :P

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins

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