As I am sure a lot of you may have already heard, Rupert Murdoch, who I have said in the past needs to retire, plans to start charging for news content on his websites. Murdoch, the genius who also bough MySpace on it’s way down the tubes, and also made comments saying that the Internet would soon go away, is the CEO of NewsCorp. Fox News is probably one of Murdoch’s best known properties.
It’s going to be real interesting to see how he plans to roll this plan out, although I don’t think he’s going to see a lot of success. A while back The Wall Street Journal started charging for their online content, and for the most part it’s been successful, but when you look at the big picture you realize that they don’t really have a lot of competition, so all in all that content model might work on a subscription basis.
In the much broader News business, there are tons of companies out there, and a few that even do it better than Murdoch’s companies, so I see this as being an epic failure before it happens. Sorry for being so negative but I am just calling it like I see it.
In case you missed out on Murdoch’s plans, here’s a snippet from a recent USA Today article:
News Corp, which owns the London Times and Sun newspapers in Britain and the New York Post and The Wall Street Journal in the U.S., among many other papers, will soon begin charging for news content online, the BBC reports.
“We intend to charge for all our news websites," said chief executive Rupert Murdoch. "I believe that if we are successful, we will be followed by other media”.
To keep readers from simply shifting to free news websites, Murdoch said News Corp would simply make its content "better and differentiate it from other people," the BBC reports. Murdoch said he was "satisfied" that the company could produce "significant revenues from the sale of digital delivery of newspaper content."
"Quality journalism is not cheap, and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalizing its ability to produce good reporting," he said, the BBC reports.
The bottom line, people aren’t going to pay for news online, it’s just not going to work. They will simply go elsewhere. He should focus his efforts toward monetizing his content instead. I think that most people who have been in this industry for a while would agree with me 100% on this…
Murdoch to charge for online news content – On Deadline – USATODAY.com