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How Murdoch’s Plan for Paid Content Could Work

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How Murdoch’s Plan for Paid Content Could Work

A lot is being said about Rupert Murdoch‘s plan to charge for all Newscorp Web content. Every blogger I’ve read have said that Rupert’s a delusional old media dinosaur (or some variation thereof) and that his plan is doomed.

Personally I think he’s probably a pretty smart guy. The rationale behind this change is that The Wall Street Journal has seen a large increase in subscriptions.

How could Rupert’s plan work: If the content is good enough then I believe that people will pay.

I don’t believe that this new model will support the current media infrastructure. There’s just too much overhead. If Rupert is not willing to innovate the business model of his companies, then he will have to innovate the operating model of his companies.

While I do think this could work for news site like The Wall Street Journal I think that it will work for very few sites. The content has to be better that anything you could get anywhere else.

As a side note I also believe that the future of media lies in privately held companies. I don’t think journalism can give the returns the market demands. Now I said journalism, not  content/media companies.

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About Tac

Social media anthropologist. Communications strategist. Business model junkie. Chief blogger here at New Comm Biz.

  • Matt Johnson

    I agree with what you say, but in Murdoch’s case, I draw the line at putting all content as a for-fee service. You sum it all up, when you say, “The content has to be better that anything you could get anywhere else.” The WSJ is an exception for two reasons: one, it already has devoted readership, who utilize the paper for business purposes; two, it offers somewhat exclusive content, which no other papers cover as well. I think when Murdoch analyzes the option for his other papers (the Times, the Sunday Times, the Sun and the News of the World), he will find that because their content is quite similar to other free online newspapers (AP feeds, etc…), it will cut what little advertising revenues there still are to be had. The market will show what is true, but he could learn much from the New York Times’ experience with it.

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com tacanderson

    Matt, I don't disagree at all. WSJ has a strong brand and high value content, esp for the business community. I am very skeptical if he can pull it off for his other papers. It's possible but unlikely.

  • http://www.vistasad.com atul chatterjee

    If you choose a small area and develop content in that area it may be possible to sell content. The most likely area Murdoch will choose is financial services of some sort. And a model of part paid rest free. Wait and see, he has enough money to throw around and test the waters.

  • http://www.cutuli.it/ Carmelo Cutuli

    I’m really convinced that is time to rethink all the information platform, and supply much more targeted and valuable information people can productively use in their everyday’s work and life instead of sellling tons of marketing and advertising driven useless informations.


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