Murdoch Reconsidering Paywalls? Delaying Implementation

from the so-much-for-that-plan dept

Is Rupert Murdoch flip-flopping on paywalls again? Way back when (i.e., two years ago) Murdoch was a big believer in the idea that news should be free online, and that he could more than make it up with other business models. But, then, earlier this year, he did a complete flip-flop, declaring that all his publications would put up paywalls, saying that free content is bad, and accusing aggregators and search engines of “stealing” content. Some speculated that it was all a ploy to get others to put up paywalls. Though, others just think Murdoch’s getting a little senile. Either way, it looks like he’s stalling a bit. Jay Rosen points us to the news that Murdoch is “postponing” the date for when he wants his papers to have paywalls. It’s not clear if the delay is due to technical difficulties in implementing a paywall, or if he’s actually reconsidering. Either way, it doesn’t look like the great big paywall is going up any time soon.

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Companies: news corp

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Comments on “Murdoch Reconsidering Paywalls? Delaying Implementation”

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Tim (profile) says:

There is no way that Murdoch will put up paywall for news before any of his competitors, and I don’t see any of them doing so before him. And if they all did at roughly the same time it would certainly come under cartel action. It is all just a threat.

Editorial can be put behind a paywall (possibly in a similar way to the Economist and/or free to newspaper buyers), but news will find a way to be free, and the BBC won’t be charging for their online news anytime soon.

Murdoch has ruined The Times here in the UK, turning what was one of the world’s finest newspapers into something more akin to half tabloid, half advertorial rubbish. A paywall won’t get that content any more views.

iPhone a leading indicator? says:

I believe the WSJ app on the iPhone may be the reason for the delay. Formerly it was a free app with full access to all of the WSJ’s on line content. It was recently changed to a gateway to a subscription page (both paid and free but the free content requires registration).

The user feedback was almost 100% negative. It went from one of the most popular apps to a one star loser. Many people simply deleted the app (I did) meaning very few opted for registering for free content.

The experience had to be an eye-opener for the WSJ, especially when they realized the negative reaction to trying to compell registration for access to limited free content.

Bradley Stewart says:

I Really Don't Care What Rupert Murdoch

does. If I need a computer program I buy it. When I want the News I don’t need Murdoch to give it to me for a price. I can find out anything that his news organization puts out for nothing. Rupert concentrate on what you do best. Hiring hot looking no nothing girls to read and comment on the news.

Free Loader says:

News must be free

I would rather have news behind a paywall instead of no news at all. And it sure looks like we’re headed for no news if the world keeps insisting that it must be ad supported. The newspapers everywhere are dying and I don’t see the slacking being picked up by the blogs. Oh sure, some are great but most are just moons that reflect the light of the paid journalist’s sun.

And techdirt drives me nuts. They keep harping that news must be free and then they create their own pay wall but call it something different like a corporate intelligence service or whatever it’s called now. It’s still a paywall.

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