Some Major News Organizations Want to Start Charging You for Their Content

If Rupert Murdoch has his way, you won’t be able to Google a headline and get all the story links available for that news piece. According to Mr. Murdoch, “We need to do a better job of persuading consumers that high-quality, reliable news and information does not come free. Good journalism is an expensive commodity.”  Murdoch

Murdoch’s comments were repeated by other media executives at a recent Federal Trade Commission workshop that was held to explore the challenges faced by media companies from across the country to determine how the government could help them survive in the Internet-era. Many newspapers, broadcasters and other traditional media companies have become distressed because their online revenue has failed to offset falling offline advertising revenue.
If Rupert Murdoch has his way, you won’t be able to Google a headline and get all the story links available for that news piece. According to Mr. Murdoch, “We need to do a better job of persuading consumers that high-quality, reliable news and information does not come free. Good journalism is an expensive commodity.”
Murdoch’s comments were repeated by other media executives at a recent Federal Trade Commission workshop that was held to explore the challenges faced by media companies from across the country to determine how the government could help them survive in the internet era. Many newspapers, broadcasters and other traditional media companies have become distressed because their online revenue has failed to offset falling offline advertising revenue.
Some of the ideas being discussed were: Tax credits for media companies, Making media companies tax exempt entities, and Copyright law changes to force online aggregators and search engines to pay for any content or links to that content for which they provide links or summaries. Murdoch has even suggested forcing Google to pull links off its site to any stories, articles or coverage produced by his media companies.
Some major newspapers have been developing plans to charge people to read some of the stories on their web sites.BusinessWeek is considering publishing an online edition that is only available to subscribers. The Wall Street Journal is already requiring a subscription if a web surfer wants to read a full version of any of their articles online. Mr. Murdoch is trying to block all of the Journal’s content from Google or have them pay for any links to the publication’s articles or other content.
It is obvious that the print media will not be viable for many more years. And in order for them to survive they will have to come up with a more efficient business model. I think we tend to take our news for granted because of the pervasiveness of its availability on the net. If we want to learn more about a breaking story all we have to do is a quick search and there will be links to more stories than we could possibly read.
Journalism Online, a startup that is developing a payment system for newspapers and magazines will begin shipping its software to publishers before the end of the year. The company has not published its list of test sites, but they did say that over 1300 newspapers and magazines would be testing their software in the coming months.
Will this save the newspapers? I doubt it because there will be too many alternative news sites will offer similar content. Of course, the major newspapers that already have a decent following could very well remain viable using a subscription based revenue model, ie. The New York Times, The Washington Post, etc.
The smaller newspapers will most likely go away, if they haven’t already. There are a couple of large internet entities that are soliciting news gatherers from around the country to provide local news in those areas lacking coverage. Yahoo and theExaminer come to mind.
There is no doubt that the journalism business requires massive overhead and only the strongest news organizations will survive. Who will they be and what model will they have to adopt in order to stay in business? Bottom line is that they will have to come up with a business model that keeps them profitable.
Specialized news organizations like business and industry specific newspapers and magazines will find it easier to adapt to a subscription model. I believe that journals like BusinessWeekand the Wall Street Journal can successfully adapt to this model.
The more general news gatherers will have to find a different model to use. In the past, advertising was the revenue engine for these entities. I believe advertising could still be the revenue driver for these organizations, but it will have to be a new, innovative technology driven model and parallel the online content that it precedes. As I mentioned in my previous blog on web advertising, it will probably come in the form of a 15 second spot or advertorial that the reader will have to view in order to read the content they selected.
Oh, by the way, Rupert Murdoch recently had discussions with Microsoft about making Google de-list News Corps publications from its search results and allowing only Microsoft’s Bing search engine to list them. Currently Google delivers about 25% of News Corps. traffic. This makes no sense. Online news distribution by search engines have increased competition and resulted in better efficiencies for all concerned. One columnist suggested that this was tantamount to making the paper boy pay a fee for delivering the newspaper. You can’t make this stuff up.
I still believe that news organizations should allow all of their content to be listed on search engines, as well as summarized and linked on various aggregators’ sites. That is really the best way to increase exposure across the board for both the publication and the content. Of course, there has to be a revenue component gained from such exposure. That ad revenue needs to be generated at he site of origination. There are plenty of brilliant marketers and technologists out there. I am convinced they will find a way.If Rupert Murdoch has his way, you won’t be able to Google a headline and get all the story links available for that news piece. According to Mr. Murdoch, “We need to do a better job of persuading consumers that high-quality, reliable news and information does not come free. Good journalism is an expensive commodity.”
Murdoch’s comments were repeated by other media executives at a recent Federal Trade Commission workshop that was held to explore the challenges faced by media companies from across the country to determine how the government could help them survive in the internet era. Many newspapers, broadcasters and other traditional media companies have become distressed because their online revenue has failed to offset falling offline advertising revenue.
Some of the ideas being discussed were: Tax credits for media companies, Making media companies tax exempt entities, and Copyright law changes to force online aggregators and search engines to pay for any content or links to that content for which they provide links or summaries. Murdoch has even suggested forcing Google to pull links off its site to any stories, articles or coverage produced by his media companies.
Some major newspapers have been developing plans to charge people to read some of the stories on their web sites.BusinessWeek is considering publishing an online edition that is only available to subscribers. The Wall Street Journal is already requiring a subscription if a web surfer wants to read a full version of any of their articles online. Mr. Murdoch is trying to block all of the Journal’s content from Google or have them pay for any links to the publication’s articles or other content.
It is obvious that the print media will not be viable for many more years. And in order for them to survive they will have to come up with a more efficient business model. I think we tend to take our news for granted because of the pervasiveness of its availability on the net. If we want to learn more about a breaking story all we have to do is a quick search and there will be links to more stories than we could possibly read.
Journalism Online, a startup that is developing a payment system for newspapers and magazines will begin shipping its software to publishers before the end of the year. The company has not published its list of test sites, but they did say that over 1300 newspapers and magazines would be testing their software in the coming months.
Will this save the newspapers? I doubt it because there will be too many alternative news sites will offer similar content. Of course, the major newspapers that already have a decent following could very well remain viable using a subscription based revenue model, ie. The New York Times, The Washington Post, etc.
The smaller newspapers will most likely go away, if they haven’t already. There are a couple of large internet entities that are soliciting news gatherers from around the country to provide local news in those areas lacking coverage. Yahoo and theExaminer come to mind.
There is no doubt that the journalism business requires massive overhead and only the strongest news organizations will survive. Who will they be and what model will they have to adopt in order to stay in business? Bottom line is that they will have to come up with a business model that keeps them profitable.
Specialized news organizations like business and industry specific newspapers and magazines will find it easier to adapt to a subscription model. I believe that journals like BusinessWeekand the Wall Street Journal can successfully adapt to this model.
The more general news gatherers will have to find a different model to use. In the past, advertising was the revenue engine for these entities. I believe advertising could still be the revenue driver for these organizations, but it will have to be a new, innovative technology driven model and parallel the online content that it precedes. As I mentioned in my previous blog on web advertising, it will probably come in the form of a 15 second spot or advertorial that the reader will have to view in order to read the content they selected.
Oh, by the way, Rupert Murdoch recently had discussions with Microsoft about making Google de-list News Corps publications from its search results and allowing only Microsoft’s Bing search engine to list them. Currently Google delivers about 25% of News Corps. traffic. This makes no sense. Online news distribution by search engines have increased competition and resulted in better efficiencies for all concerned. One columnist suggested that this was tantamount to making the paper boy pay a fee for delivering the newspaper. You can’t make this stuff up.
I still believe that news organizations should allow all of their content to be listed on search engines, as well as summarized and linked on various aggregators’ sites. That is really the best way to increase exposure across the board for both the publication and the content. Of course, there has to be a revenue component gained from such exposure. That ad revenue needs to be generated at he site of origination. There are plenty of brilliant marketers and technologists out there. I am convinced they will find a way.If Rupert Murdoch has his way, you won’t be able to Google a headline and get all the story links available for that news piece. According to Mr. Murdoch, “We need to do a better job of persuading consumers that high-quality, reliable news and information does not come free. Good journalism is an expensive commodity.”If Rupert Murdoch has his way, you won’t be able to Google a headline and get all the story links available for that news piece. According to Mr. Murdoch, “We need to do a better job of persuading consumers that high-quality, reliable news and information does not come free. Good journalism is an expensive commodity.”Murdoch’s comments were repeated by other media executives at a recent Federal Trade Commission workshop that was held to explore the challenges faced by media companies from across the country to determine how the government could help them survive in the internet era. Many newspapers, broadcasters and other traditional media companies have become distressed because their online revenue has failed to offset falling offline advertising revenue.

Some of the ideas being discussed were:

  • Tax credits for media companies
  • Making media companies tax exempt entities
  • Copyright law changes to force online aggregators and search engines to pay for any content or links to that content for which they provide links or summaries.

Murdoch has even suggested forcing Google to pull links off its site to any stories, articles or coverage produced by his media companies.

Some major newspapers have been developing plans to charge people to read some of the stories on their web sites.  BusinessWeek is considering publishing an online edition that is only available to subscribers. The Wall Street Journal is already requiring a subscription if a web surfer wants to read a full version of any of their articles online. Mr. Murdoch is trying to block all of the Journal’s content from Google or have them pay for any links to the publication’s articles or other content.

It is obvious that the print media will not be viable for many more years. And in order for them to survive they will have to come up with a more efficient business model. I think we tend to take our news for granted because of the pervasiveness of its availability on the net. If we want to learn more about a breaking story all we have to do is a quick search and there will be links to more stories than we could possibly read.

Journalism Online, a startup that is developing a payment system for newspapers and magazines will begin shipping its software to publishers before the end of the year. The company has not published its list of test sites, but they did say that over 1300 newspapers and magazines would be testing their software in the coming months.

Will this save the newspapers? I doubt it because there will be too many alternative news sites will offer similar content. Of course, the major newspapers that already have a decent following could very well remain viable using a subscription based revenue model, ie. The New York Times, The Washington Post, etc.

The smaller newspapers will most likely go away, if they haven’t already. There are a couple of large internet entities that are soliciting news gatherers from around the country to provide local news in those areas lacking coverage. Yahoo and theExaminer come to mind.

There is no doubt that the journalism business requires massive overhead and only the strongest news organizations will survive. Who will they be and what model will they have to adopt in order to stay in business? Bottom line is that they will have to come up with a business model that keeps them profitable.

Specialized news organizations like business and industry specific newspapers and magazines will find it easier to adapt to a subscription model. I believe that journals like BusinessWeek and the Wall Street Journal can successfully adapt to this model.

The more general news gatherers will have to find a different model to use. In the past, advertising was the revenue engine for these entities. I believe advertising could still be the revenue driver for these organizations, but it will have to be a new, innovative technology driven model and parallel the online content that it precedes. As I mentioned in my previous blog on web advertising, it will probably come in the form of a 15 second spot or advertorial that the reader will have to view in order to read the content they selected.

Oh, by the way, Rupert Murdoch recently had discussions with Microsoft about making Google de-list News Corps publications from its search results and allowing only Microsoft’s Bing search engine to list them. Currently Google delivers about 25% of News Corps. traffic. This makes no sense. Online news distribution by search engines have increased competition and resulted in better efficiencies for all concerned. One columnist suggested that this was tantamount to making the paper boy pay a fee for delivering the newspaper. You can’t make this stuff up.

I still believe that news organizations should allow all of their content to be listed on search engines, as well as summarized and linked on various aggregators’ sites. That is really the best way to increase exposure across the board for both the publication and the content. Of course, there has to be a revenue component gained from such exposure. That ad revenue needs to be generated at he site of origination. There are plenty of brilliant marketers and technologists out there. I am convinced they will find a way.

by Mac McKinley,  BoomerOpinion.com

  3 comments for “Some Major News Organizations Want to Start Charging You for Their Content

  1. December 9, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Mac,

    He says in his op-ed that his reasoning is guided by “simple arithmetic” but then distorts the facts. Tellingly, he’s only pushing the point with the WSJ, not his other products.

    Moreover, the very op-ed in which he rails against content aggregators, you can read for free by going through HIS free site.

    I wrote a post about this. You can see it here: http://www.digitaltonto.com/2009/sorry-rupert-content-will-remain-free/

    – Greg

  2. Norris Hall
    December 9, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Paying for news is one thing. Paying for political commentary is another.
    If the Wall Street Journal wants to continue to beat it’s Conservative political drum it had better forget charging people for it.
    I don’t mind reading one sided opinions but I wouldn’t pay for it. The blogs are full of free right wing bloggers who will let your read their posts for free.
    So, If the WSJ wants to drop itself from Google search…go ahead, be my guest. They are so many other real news sources out there, That the journal’s one sided Conservative views… won’t be missed.

  3. December 10, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    As far as print media, I wrote something on the subject of the print media business about 5 years ago at an editorial blog I still maintain
    http://www.usedcarsalesman.com/usedcarsalesman/2004/12/print_publisher.html. Usedcarsalesman was kind of my nom-de-blog.

    I’d certainly like to go back and modify a few things about the post though.

Comments are closed.