Rupert Murdoch Doesn't Recognize That There's Competition Online

from the wow dept

People keep insisting that we're crazy to think that Rupert Murdoch is going down the wrong path with his paywall plans. I keep hearing from people saying "don't bet against Rupert -- he's the sharpest guy in the news business and he knows what he's doing." But I just can't see it. Not when he continues to say things that just aren't true. The latest, sent in by reader sinsi, involves yet another interview with Murdoch where he insists that once he puts up paywalls Google and Microsoft will be forced to stop linking to his stuff. Instead, he wants them to put up a subscription form:
"We'll be very happy if they just publish our headline or a sentence or two and that's followed by a subscription form,"
Ok, Rupert, how about you start? After all, we've pointed out that a ton of your own properties have news aggregators, and looking through them, not a single one appears to have subscription forms. Why not?

But, even more ridiculous, is his insistence that people will start paying:
"I think when they've got nowhere else to go they'll start paying,"
Not if but when. Recent profiles of Murdoch have suggested he doesn't use the web, so perhaps he doesn't realize it, but there's always somewhere else to go, and if News Corp. is so short-sighted to lock itself away from the open web, well that just opens up a much greater opportunity for his competitors to make sure they're the place to go.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    william (profile), Apr 7th, 2010 @ 12:08pm

    Righty-o, the sharpest guy in the news business who does not use a particular product, the Internet, and thinks that he knows the inside out of it.

    Sharpest guy? or Stupidest guy? Last I checked, you have to do many researches to understand something. He's giving me the impression that he just pull some "insight" out of somewhere magically.

     

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  2.  
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    FUTURE ACTA ENFORCER, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 12:31pm

    Oh, you'll pay up, all right. You'll all pay.

     

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  3.  
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    jsl4980 (profile), Apr 7th, 2010 @ 12:34pm

    "don't bet against Rupert -- he's the sharpest guy in the news business and he knows what he's doing."

    I bet you also heard that the captain of the Titanic was the best captain on that ship and there's no way anything could go wrong...

     

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  4.  
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    sehlat (profile), Apr 7th, 2010 @ 12:43pm

    Gary North discusses the Newsosaurs

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north832.html

    Came out yesterday. One of his key points: one man operating out of an apartment got a president impeached. The "New York Times" and the WSJ didn't.

     

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  5.  
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    Captain Peter Wrongway Peachfuzz, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 12:44pm

    Finally!

    I've waited for Rupert to restrict his content so Drudge can take Infowars mainstream.

     

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  6.  
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    Bill Pickett, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 12:47pm

    There is always somewhere to go: like here. It depends what kind of news you are into. I rarely go to general "national" news sites but go to specialized ones all the time. Then there is the magic of RSS feeds and sites like http:/www.feedly.com to aggregate them into convenient formats. I happen to think the future is not monolithic news but rather everyone reporting what matters to them and then that being aggregated. It may be more difficult to make money when news is decentralized - perhaps traditional news has been overvalued the entire time and only now the bubble is popping.

     

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  7.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Apr 7th, 2010 @ 12:48pm

    "once he puts up paywalls Google and Microsoft will be forced to stop linking to his stuff"

    Well, I think he's actually correct on this point. Once he puts his stories behind a paywall, no one will be index those pages, so they'll no longer appear in search results. Basically, if Murdoch puts all of his site behind a paywall, they'll disappear completely from the net.

    I occasionally blog over at Dvorak.org. There was some screw up a while back which caused the entire site to be pulled from Google. Not only did our numbers drop dramatically, it was fricken weird not being on Google. It was like we didn't exist for a day or two.

     

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  8.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Apr 7th, 2010 @ 12:52pm

    Re:

    I would have to agree. there isn't a news channel on TV that I would trust. I much prefer to get my news from a whole bunch of niche people like Mike and others. Mike knows alot about what he knows about, he doesn't try to pretend to be the end all on all subjects known to mankind like the big nation/international news organizations. I would rater hear from 100 smart people from all over the net than 100 idiots from one news channel/corporation.

     

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  9.  
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    Anony1, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 12:54pm

    Look. Classic case alright? He does his buisness in a hlaf hard nosed buisness man, half seat of his pants gut insinct way. That's the impression I have of this guy Murdoch. It has served him well in his CORE buisness (newspapers/television). The web/internet is an EXTENSION of his core buisness, and within the context of ever expanding news reporting on the web, it could one day supplant his core buisness. Since it isn't his core buisness, he doesn't know what he's talking about. So he may be smart, just not enough to know what he says outside of his core buisness.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re:

    I love it when someone on CNN reads a bunch of tweets.

     

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  11.  
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    jfgilbert (profile), Apr 7th, 2010 @ 1:05pm

    Please stop

    Mike, would you please stop trying to educate him, no matter how hopeless the endeavor. Just let him continue on his path to self destruction and oblivion, we will all be much better for it.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 1:07pm

    Re:

    Newspapers and Television aren't actually a core business.

    He's currently selling information. That's fine and he's made a lot of money. Now there's competition. It used to be all news came from the newspaper. Then some from broadcast TV. Then some from 24 hour cable news channels. Then some people started going to the internet.

    The internet is faster and more convenient for a lot of people. If he sits back and says, newspapers and TV is my business, he might be out of business soon. But it's his call. I've never made any money selling news, I just read a lot on the net.

     

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  13.  
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    ScaredOfTheMan, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 1:09pm

    Where are all the Rupert Fans now?

    "I think when they've got nowhere else to go they'll start paying,"

    Where are all those "he is so smart because he has so much money.... why should he listen to techdirt" Where are you now? Oh yes this quote demonstrates how incredible aware of the interent and the online environment he has. How he masterfully will be the only game in town..... yup, where do I sign up.

     

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  14.  
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    Jeff, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 1:10pm

    Put up or shut up

    I get tired of every other day hearing something new from Murdoch about putting up paywalls and blocking Google...

    Well I'm gonna keep saying it "Put Up or Shut Up!"

    I want him to stop threatening it, or bitching about it and just do it. If it's such a great idea, then what is he waiting for.

    I'm just waiting for it to happen, then a bit later watch him backtrack like hell because he's loosing his customers when they don't want to pay for something they can get elsewhere without paying.

     

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  15.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Apr 7th, 2010 @ 1:12pm

    Dear rupert please take your marbles and go home

    RM - "Search advertising had produced a "river of gold" for Google, he said, "but those words are being taken mostly from the newspapers."

    First I have to say the man is an idiot. I dont think there has ever been an advertisement on google news

    MM - "but there's always somewhere else to go"

    Not only is there always somewhere else to go, but the places to go are increasing at a slow but exponential rate. Going back to infinite resources and the Bell curve - Normal Distribution. Probabilities show that with the increase in the number of news sources Blogs, RSS feeds, online only papers, you have an increase in the number of good news sources that fall 2 plus sigmas out. Currently less than 10 percent of Rupert Murdocks "news" falls in this range. As time passes and the competition increases less and less of news corps news will fall into this 2 + sigma range, making them less relevent.

    The news of old is one bucket of slop where all the news came from, the news now is evolving into being a couple million shot glasses each holding a different flavor. Targeted topic-interest blogs, RSS, and news will become more relevent as time passes. As more aggregation applications are developed they will server the individual consumer information that interests them.

    This age of person specific news papers is here already. How many of us use RSS feeds on a daily basis. All thats needed is a killer app ...

     

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  16.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Apr 7th, 2010 @ 1:14pm

    Re:

    thanks for the feedly link

     

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  17.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Apr 7th, 2010 @ 1:17pm

    Re:

    rupert murdoch will probably insist that google index them and lead them to the "pay us or dont read this page".

    the band continued to play as the ship sank ....

     

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  18.  
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    bZirk (profile), Apr 7th, 2010 @ 1:22pm

    Doesn't use the internet?!

     

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  19.  
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    shhh, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 1:26pm

    everyone shhhhhhhhh. just let them all think they're smart and that their latest strategy is the 'most innovative thing ever', whatever the 'thing' may be. If Murdoch thinks that staying off the internet and believing that there are no competitors for his publications is true, let him. i'm really dying to see at least one major corporate powerhouse from 'the days of old' go belly up. I'm not talking AOL here (though that is pretty funny), I mean the really big dogs from movies to music to books. i can't wait for them all to file chapter 11!

     

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  20.  
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    Jeff, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 1:29pm

    But then we'll hear from our buddy Obama and his too big to fail crew. And then it's Bailout 2.0!

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 1:34pm

    Re:

    He might also be right that "when they've got nowhere else to go they'll start paying." But unless Murdoch plans to own all online news production in the world, that's an irrelevant statement.

    Online, Murdoch is out of his depth. It is like watching Michael Jordan play baseball.

     

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  22.  
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    TheOtherJeff, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 1:39pm

    Re: Put up or shut up

    I think the reason you keep hearing about paywalls and the reason you don't see paywalls are the same ... clueless morons.

    I would bet dollars to donuts that Murdoch has made some kind of internal proclamation like, "Gets mes a paywall. I want you IT idjuts to have one up by next week. AND IT BETTER NOT COST MORE THAN $13."

    He (or one of his minions) is probably getting estimates around 6-8 months for a redesign with a cost of 1-3 million dollars and they think the IT group is bulls**ting them so they can buy new chairs.

     

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  23.  
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    lostalaska (profile), Apr 7th, 2010 @ 1:39pm

    Paywalls are the way to go...

    ...so I can see the decline of Murdoch's empire sooner than later. The man's out of touch and watching his empire crumble will be a delight.

     

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  24.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Apr 7th, 2010 @ 1:45pm

    very very simple

    the fact that we're reading techdirt, by and of itself, shows that there are people who specifically know of the competition and read it (techdirt as an example of competition).

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 1:47pm

    Re:

    Wrong Prez homey

     

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  26.  
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    Free Capitalist (profile), Apr 7th, 2010 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Please stop

    I think Rupert's only "teachable moment" was when Homer Simpson coached him through signing his name on a contract.

     

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  27.  
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    Bill Pickett, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Re:

    You're welcome, I find it to be a very useful service! ;)

     

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  28.  
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    Alan Gerow (profile), Apr 7th, 2010 @ 2:03pm

    "I think when they've got nowhere else to go they'll start paying,"


    Thank you Mr. Murdock for pointing out the problems with monopolies and megacorporations that control the flow of information.

     

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  29.  
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    Bazil, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 3:16pm

    Another Delusional Dinosaur

    After what Rupert Murdoch did to the Times of London, a once respected news organization now turned into fox news-print edition, I won't contribute a dime to his propaganda empire.

    I stopped my Wall Street Journal the moment he turned it into a rightwing tabloid and switched to Financial Times, so much better.

    So I applaud this move by news corp, if anyone is gullible enough to believe the garbage they put out, then they should have to pay.

    I consider it Retard-Tax.

     

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  30.  
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    Anony1, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 4:11pm

    So I applaud this move by news corp, if anyone is gullible enough to believe the garbage they put out, then they should have to pay.


    Which of the COUNTLESS verifiable facts that FOX news puts out each day are you refrencing when you talk of "garbage"?
    Certainly, since I both read Foxnews.com and watch FOX mews (and countless other news sources), I do know that certain editorials, and news stories are angled with a conservative-slant. That being said, I LOL seriously when people like you "Brazil" try to slant all the news from these sources as "garbage". I guess that headline about "West Virginia mine where 25 people died was cited for violating federal safety measures on day of explosion" is garbage? No? How about this one "Colo. Judge Fired Over Teen Arrest for Overdue DVD" is that more FOX news made-up garbage? It's called news. It's also called fact. Learn to deal with it.

     

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  31.  
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    slander (profile), Apr 7th, 2010 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Re:

    ...or the Oakland Raiders play football.

     

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  32.  
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    Anony1, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 4:12pm

    So I applaud this move by news corp, if anyone is gullible enough to believe the garbage they put out, then they should have to pay.


    Which of the COUNTLESS verifiable facts that FOX news puts out each day are you refrencing when you talk of "garbage"?
    Certainly, since I both read Foxnews.com and watch FOX mews (and countless other news sources), I do know that certain editorials, and news stories are angled with a conservative-slant. That being said, I LOL seriously when people like you "Brazil" try to slant all the news from these sources as "garbage". I guess that headline about "West Virginia mine where 25 people died was cited for violating federal safety measures on day of explosion" is garbage? No? How about this one "Colo. Judge Fired Over Teen Arrest for Overdue DVD" is that more FOX news made-up garbage? It's called news. It's also called fact. Learn to deal with it.

     

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  33.  
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    slander (profile), Apr 7th, 2010 @ 4:14pm

    Re: Re:

    Really? How so, dawg?

     

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  34.  
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    Anony1, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 4:16pm

    My point is, there is a lot I don't support about Murdoch and his "vision". There is however, on FOX, as on any news network, countless examples of pure factual reporting. Perhaps the news channel isn't the problem. Maybe the problem is with people unable to use their own heads, their own internal filters, to decide what is accurate or not, and think..gasp..for themselves. Anyone that takes everything they hear from a news source as pure truth, and who doesn't look at both sides of the story, is probably either uneducated, or completely biased themselves. So for those who LOOOOVE to bash FOX like it's a national past time, perhaps I can recommend looking into something. It's called a mirror.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 5:15pm

    It is entirely possible that every member of GennBeckistan will sign up for newscorp drivel.

     

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  36.  
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    Derek, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 5:25pm

    Build baby build!

    If a paywall is such a great idea, why is Murdoch always threatening but never implementing?

    Maybe he's is more interested in the publicity he gets from talking about a paywall than he is in actually building one.

    Do it Rupert -- isolate your content, prove us wrong.

     

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  37.  
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    Nevyn, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 7:16pm

    Re: Gary North discusses the Newsosaurs

    And an Intern working under a desk, had another President impaled....

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 10:49pm

    "I think when they've got nowhere else to go they'll start paying,"

    I LoLed at that.

    I don't know about others but me, if there are still blogs out there, I know I will get the news from all over the world, from people who actually live where the news is happening.

    Sismic Waves(Comic about how fast news spreads on the internet)
    http://xkcd.com/723/

     

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  39.  
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    Gary Wright, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 2:53am

    Murdoch must succeed with Pay Walls, here's why

    I’ve been a journalist for 23 years at regional and national level on TV, newspapers and news agencies - though never for News International.

    Murdoch must succeed. Every journalist should take a subscription to The Times to show suppor and here's why:

    I paid £2.39 for the Guardian app a couple of months ago. I use it daily. It is the best news app on the iPhone. Fact. I'm used to it and turn to it for everything from footie news to election coverage, daily.

    Neither the free Independent or Telegraph app are as good. They don't have the columnists and I never get to the end of a Guardian story and think there's something missing or the job's not been done properly.

    So, and I'm sure this is just around the corner, when the Guardian asks me to pay say 59p a month to keep it running, I'm in. Unless someone offers something better.

    People are prepared to pay if they value the content. Advertisers will be desperate to be part of a valued news organisation and be associated. It's obvious: people still pay for newspapers don't they.

    And if they aren't, then good journalism will end and we'll sink in recycled press releases.

    And that won't happen, if it did, then someone would launch a paid quality news outlet on line again anyway. The arguably left-wing/pc/tolerant BBC isn’t to all tastes.

    Things are already changing on the 'net, there's not the 'let's give it a go and see what happens mentality' out there any more. It is settling down and businesses are now recognising you can only give something (anything) away, provided that there is some commercial return that pays for the effort. The big boys have sampled it, got involved, and now they need to make it pay.

    Yes the 'net is a level playing field and any Tom Dick or Harry can have their say - but no one cares really because they don't know who they are.

    It's becoming clear the 'net is not going to be what the western world dictates anyway. Google, Microsoft et al thought they could dominate it. But they can't. China gives an indication of what the 'net could become.

    To conclude, there's information everywhere, more than ever people need someone to gather information that interests them into one, simple to navigate, authorititive place. Millions of people already do that when they buy a newspaper.

    Murdoch - and I surprise myself by saying it - may be recognised in years to come saviour of our trade through his recognition that the current situation is unsustainable. I'm 100 per cent behind him.
    In fact, every journalist should take a subscription to show support.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 5:17am

    Isn't "I think when they've got nowhere else to go they'll start paying," the traditional strategy of News Corp anyway?

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 5:28am

    Re: Murdoch must succeed with Pay Walls, here's why

    Is that sarcasm?

    This part made me think so - "Murdoch - and I surprise myself by saying it - may be recognised in years to come saviour of our trade through his recognition that the current situation is unsustainable."

    That was a bit over the top, but possibly you are serious - in that case - my condolences.

     

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  42.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Apr 8th, 2010 @ 6:37am

    Re: Murdoch must succeed with Pay Walls, here's why

    " It is settling down and businesses are now recognising you can only give something (anything) away, provided that there is some commercial return that pays for the effort. "

    Its called a loss leader, you give away something to make some money on something else. Look at craigsList they give away most advertising to make money off of other ads.

    "Yes the 'net is a level playing field and any Tom Dick or Harry can have their say - but no one cares really because they don't know who they are. "

    I dont know who you are and I dont care a lick about what you say.

    "People are prepared to pay if they value the content."

    Here is the thing that kills that idea. If people can get it for free they will choose free.

    "To conclude, there's information everywhere, more than ever people need someone to gather information that interests them into one, simple to navigate, authorititive place."

    You can do all this with an IE and RSS feeds or an rss aggregator. When the Killer app for this happens news papers will fail even faster than they are today.

    Also if this comment is an example of your writing skills we are better off without you ...

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 6:38am

    Re: Murdoch must succeed with Pay Walls, here's why

    "people still pay for newspapers don't they."

    Not in my experience they don't. At home, I have 3 or 4 newspapers that keep delivering to my door for free. I actually wish they'd stop, because I don't read them and they just clutter up my yard two or three times a week.

    No one I know buys a newspaper out of a machine or from a stand, or any other way. There's no need: better, more-targetted information is freely available online.

     

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  44.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Apr 8th, 2010 @ 6:40am

    Re: Murdoch must succeed with Pay Walls, here's why

    "Every journalist should take a subscription to The Times to show support "

    Cool journalist supported news ... maybe you will get 200 subscriptions beating NewsDay by 165 subscriptions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
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    JasonL (profile), Jul 5th, 2010 @ 2:20pm

    not paywall but Content control can and will work

    I got information about a company called iPhase3 from the United States that might have figued this out. A friend of mine from Germany sent some information to me about their system and I believe it might be the answer to letting us decide what is free and maybe a page charge for special writers and stories. At leaset we will have the choice not an automatic paywall like Murdock suggest. We must stop the leakage or we all close our doors. So let's see where they take us. Maybe Murdock will even move over to their system since it does make sense. What I really like about it as I have been told is no one ever kows who you are or gets your information. Cool stuff and yet you have a neat interface to operate from as an individual or a newspaper publisher. Sounds like they are moving in the right direction.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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