Online newspapers become paid for content?

Published August 9, 2009

Rupert Murdoch and his many, many media enterprises announced huge losses recently, and that has prompted the newspaper giant to announce that their online news presence will not be free for much longer.

Murdoch says he is aware that this will cause copyright problems, and they’ll tighten up on that considerably. However, he is looking forward to cashing in on the celebrity gossip hunters who visit such sites as The Sun and The News of the World.

Of all the people to try and instigate a change in our news viewing habits online, Murdoch can probably afford to risk it, but I don’t know how successful he will be, when people are used to getting the content for free.

The FT might do a little bet. They are thinking of switching from their multi-tier system at the moment (where some is free, but if you pay more, you get more access), to a pay-per-view system. It looks as though they’re hoping none of the content will be free by the time their system is introduced, but a pay-per-view, with micropayments, is a more interesting model than the flat-out subscription rate. Will it work though?

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