Media mogul Rupert Murdoch claims the current Internet businesss model is “malfunctioning” and says that NewsCorp-owned web sites will start charging for content within a year. His empire includes papers like the NY Post, the Sun and the Times spread across the globe.
As a consumer of a lot of news and information online, I will NOT be willing to pay for content that will freely be available elsewhere. The rise of independent media (blogging, videos on YouTube and other such sites, Twitter tweeting, etc…) has been a pain for news conglomerates. They know they are losing the battle – and many newspapers have had to shut shop, or are in danger of doing so. This is just a business cycle. Newspapers are as good as dead. 10 years from now, Kindle-like devices will be commonplace (like today’s smartphones). If Murdoch’s answer is to alienate users by charging for content, he’s in for a bigger “malfunction” surprise.
CNN tried a paid-model a few years ago, which doesn’t exist today. Any news web site who has tried to charge for content (WSJ included) has failed miserably. According to Joshua Benton of Harvard University, only 3% of users will be willing to pay for online content.
Given an option, I’ll opt for free news. It is easy to access information from any major publication. If Murdoch starts charging, there are a plethora of good quality web sites to choose from, who don’t charge.
This seems to be a last-ditch effort by Rupert Murdoch to try and dominate the Internet. Not going to happen, sir. Free content will exist on the Internet as long as the Internet lives.
Would you pay for content that is potentially available for free elsewhere? Voice your opinions in the comments section below