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
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.