Print 40 comment(s) - last by glitchc.. on Sep 22 at 7:18 PM

Eric Schmidt says in general paid content plans don't work online

Print publications that run websites are fighting to convince their peers and readers that paying for content online is the only way to go. The problem is that a generation of internet users are used to getting content for free and getting them to pay for the content will be difficult if not impossible.

Publishing tycoon Rupert Murdoch has previously stated that his company will begin charging for access to the content on all of its websites. Currently the only publication that charges for content in Murdoch's empire is the Wall Street Journal.

Shortly after Murdoch made the decree that all of News Corps. websites would charge for access to content, Google CEO Eric Schmidt scoffed at the plan and said that newspapers don’t want to "piss off" readers. Schmidt has again scoffed at Murdoch's plan to charge for online content.

Schmidt told attendees at a meeting of a group of British broadcasting executives that it would be very hard to charge for content online because the same content is available free.

Reuters quotes Schmidt saying, "In general these models have not worked for general public consumption because there are enough free sources that the marginal value of paying is not justified based on the incremental value of quantity. So my guess is for niche and specialist markets ... it will be possible to do it but I think it is unlikely that you will be able to do it for all news."

Schmidt is basically saying that the Wall Street Journal being successful with charging for content online is the exception, not the rule.

Murdoch has still not rolled out his pay for content scheme to any of the other websites in his publishing empire; perhaps he knows deep down that wishing readers would pay and getting them to do so are two very different things.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

That being said...
By killerroach on 9/18/2009 11:48:08 AM , Rating: 3
...while Google is making some good points, a lot of this to them boils down to self-interest.

After all, in Google's world, Internet content is supported by a full stream of ads, all of which come directly through them. Of course Google doesn't like the idea of some company charging for their own content, they'd rather themselves be paid for everyone's content.

Even still, I don't see a paid content model succeeding without either large amounts of exclusive content or a wide-ranging array of content portability and delivery options. As was said earlier, the competition is all over the place, and it's really, really hard to compete with free.

RE: That being said...
By nafhan on 9/18/2009 12:12:32 PM , Rating: 3
It's not really self-interest. It's the people at Google being smart enough to understand a fundamental aspect of the internet and aligning their business accordingly, while Murdoch and Co. don't seem to be getting it, despite numerous examples.

RE: That being said...
By someguy123 on 9/18/2009 1:21:21 PM , Rating: 2
don't see how. even if the news were to go subscription all that would happen is google would need to remove certain sites from their news search. they aren't accountable for other sites, and there's no real way to prove your news was stolen unless someone directly copy and pastes it.

google realizes that, even if they went subscription based, it would only be a matter of time before the internet got a hold of the news and spread it for free elsewhere. news companies would definitely make more money running free sites off ads than they would running subscriptions of news you could get elsewhere.

RE: That being said...
By glitchc on 9/20/2009 12:31:45 AM , Rating: 2
That is a silly argument. If a newspaper is subscription-only, the google crawler cannot access it. No access = content unavailable. Therefore, as far as the user of the search engine is considered, the site itself is invisible.

RE: That being said...
By Alexstarfire on 9/21/2009 2:17:03 AM , Rating: 2
And what is your point? That news on subscription sites stays on subscription sites? Ever looked at porn? You can find just about all of the subscription stuff for free. Nothing stays on a pay site for very long.

RE: That being said...
By glitchc on 9/22/2009 7:18:50 PM , Rating: 2
Porn tends to be the exception rather than the rule, quite possibly due to demand exceeding supply. Generalizing the porn statement to say, Wall Street Journal is fallacious at best. It's typically the opinion pieces that are subscription-only. If there is a natural disaster in some part of the world, of course all news sites will have it, but an exclusive interview with a high-ranking businessman/congressman/etc. conducted by a WSJ correspondent will only be available on WSJ.

RE: That being said...
By Suntan on 9/18/2009 3:13:44 PM , Rating: 2
...while Google is making some good points, a lot of this to them boils down to self-interest.

I would argue that it is in Google’s business interest for a lot of the major news sources *to* move to a subscription based setup.

If all the major news urls turn subscription only, it will be that much harder for the vast majority of the people (those of us that aren’t going to pay to hear the news) looking for news online to find it by just typing in, or, etc. …therefore, they will rely on search engines more.


"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings

Most Popular ArticlesAre you ready for this ? HyperDrive Aircraft
September 24, 2016, 9:29 AM
Leaked – Samsung S8 is a Dream and a Dream 2
September 25, 2016, 8:00 AM
Inspiron Laptops & 2-in-1 PCs
September 25, 2016, 9:00 AM
Snapchat’s New Sunglasses are a Spectacle – No Pun Intended
September 24, 2016, 9:02 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki