Murdoch is also running
one of the few successful publications online that charges for access
-- The Wall Street Journal. The catch for Murdoch is that
there is a well known workaround for accessing WSJ content
online without having to pay or register with the publication --
Google. You can search the title of most any WSJ story that requires
a paid account with Google and find the complete article for
Murdoch is now saying that he will remove
stories all together from Google's search index as a way to
encourage people to pay for content. Encourage here is a synonym for
force. Murdoch told Sky News Australia that the papers in his empire
including the Sun, Times, and WSJ would consider
blocking Google entirely once that fully enacted plans for charging
people to read stories.
Murdoch said, "I think we will
(block Google), but that's when we start charging. We have it already
with the Wall Street Journal. We have a wall, but it's not right to
the ceiling. You can get, usually, the first paragraph from any story
- but if you're not a paying subscriber to WSJ.com all you get is a
paragraph and a subscription form."
saying, "There's a doctrine called fair use, which we believe to
be challenged in the courts and would bar it altogether... but we'll
take that slowly."
Murdoch had previously promised that
starting in 2010 charging
for the use of his websites would be enacted. He is backtracking
on that a bit and now says that he won’t promise that date will be
Murdoch said, "The people who simply just pick up
everything and run with it – steal our stories, we say they steal
our stories - they just take them. That's Google, that's Microsoft,
that's Ask.com, a whole lot of people ... they shouldn't have had it
free all the time, and I think we've been asleep."
ill will between Murdoch and Google is building on the back of
significantly reduced traffic to MySpace. MySpace has a lucrative
search deal in place with Google that may be one of the reasons the
paid content work around has not been addressed before. With
significantly increased competition from Facebook pushing MySpace
into a second place spot in the social networking scene, MySpace has
missed traffic goals set by Google. The shortfall in traffic equates
to the potential for the loss of more than $100 million in income
from the Google search deal.
As Murdoch ramps up his schemes
to make money off the internet, Google CEO Eric Schmidt continues to
at Murdoch's plans. Schmidt has said in the past, "In
general these models (paid online content) 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."
quote: But the point is that you have a choice on whether you want to be a driver or not.