Murdoch Says Newspapers Must Charge For Online Content

Make up declining ad revenue

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[ Business]

News Corp. chief executive Rupert Murdoch said on Thursday that newspapers must find a way to charge for online content to make up for declining ad revenue.

"People are used to reading everything on the net for free, and that’s going to have to change," Murdoch told attendees at the annual Cable Show event in Washington, D.C.

Murdoch cited The New York Times as an example, saying it has a "very, very good Web site." He said he did not believe the paper would make any money online unless it changes its current business model.

Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch

"They cannot give their advertising away itself because the inventory of display adverting on the web is doubling every year, so they’re never going to make money out of it on an advertising model," he said.

"I think the classifieds, though, which was their river of gold, is probably draining away and will be gone forever."

Murdoch owns The Wall Street Journal, which News Corp purchased in 2007 along with its parent Dow Jones & Co, is one of the few major U.S. newspapers that charges for access to its online content.

News Corp also owns the New York Post, the Times of London and other papers in Britain and Australia, which are available for free online.

Murdoch also said News Corp is investing with partners in a new mobile device that would allow people to read electronic versions of newspapers.

The portable device would be different than Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s E-Reader in that it would be designed more for the newspaper format.

"What we’re investing in and others are investing in – and it’s only software development at the moment – is a bigger panel to look a little bit like a small newspaper, but very readable, four colors, and you get the edition as of that moment," he said.


Murdoch Says Newspapers Must Charge For Online Content
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  • http://www.marketappeal.co.uk/ SEO Consultant

    At least he’s not blaming Google for the decline, but what about the BBC? At least Google’s first-click-free system is compatible with paid-for content.

  • http://peterwilliams97.blogspot.com/search?q=newspaper Peter Williams

    Is this a standalone device or an application that runs on mobile devices such as smart phones and netbooks?

    That is worth something, though it is not obvious how much, at least not to me. Does Murdoch have ballpark revenues for this device?

    • Guest

      I am reminded of a simple fact.

      People always communicated without thinking of getting paid. News Paper was an artificial inroduction. It gave us what we can’t possibly get in a direct way. It gathered, catogorized and condensed information for the general public. The ‘general’ part is to be noted.

      Tody all things, places, systems and people are in instant contact. An iPhone can give you the news of a locality as you travel. It knows whare you are and what you need. A newpaper no longer fits this format. It will have to figure ways to be a part of this new paradigm.

      Then there is the big issue of cutting trees, energy used to make paper, store, transport and even recycle. The game is about over.

      Das M.

  • Dave N

    Methinks we are seeing the end of the age of the dinosaurs

  • http://www.8womendream.com Eight Women Dream

    What Murdock fails to realize is tat people can now record the news as it happens on a cell phone or handheld device and upload it to their own blog, or YouTube and share it with the world, without commentary or opinion. How many times have you been at some event, watched it unfold and then watch the “news” report it and wonder if they were even at the same event. People want their information NOW and will go where they can get it. How will newspapers compete with Twitter news posts or Facebook updates? Information is now in the hands of consumers and charging for it will not save the newspapers.

  • http://adgusto.com Guest

    Newspapers, like radio with TV on the horizon did not go-away but radio developed specialties and markets – advertising cash followed the popular ratings.
    Internet cash for classifieds has not escaped craigslist but all too often “the news” really isn’t. From sideshow to ax to grind, the news or what passes for news is more like agenda for persuasion. To some, the news is a political voice looking for your support. Others view the news as manipulation tools supporting political socialization. Look here, while they perform magician-like events elsewhere.
    Forums like blogs and UTube – when its not censoring critical and informative video content put one further than the knee jerk mainstream media. Examing events like 911 as a provocation to strip Americans of your rights trading your fear for an agenda. There is no rewind in this model. Now you need a passport, not to go elsewhere abroad but to return to your country. No passport? Then there is detention without charges.
    What mainstream media omits, the non-news. Example, the last two weeks of December 2008, the Federal Reserve Bank jumped the reserve requirement charged to member banks from 8 billion dollars to 848 billion dollars effectively inhaling taxpayer money using the power of the Federal government to do it. You pay interest on that money so markets can be further driven down and the Fed picks can pick off their choices. Oh yes, non-news. But you won’t be paying for that in Murdoc’s business model.
    Interest group news, join the club, pay dues and get your useful news. That’s where pay for news is going.

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