Rupert Murdoch’s plan
to start charging for all of News Corp’s online content has engendered quite a debate at the Smarter Social Media
offices. In a series of posts Bryce
and I will debate the future of online journalism and content in general.
In my opinion, Murdoch’s plan won’t be very successful. As someone who gets all of their news from the internet, I can tell you that I have no intention of paying to read online content, and I will explain this in more detail below. Right now you might be asking “But Jordan, when you buy a newspaper in print it costs money, so why shouldn’t you pay to get your news online?” Well that’s easy, the money you pay for print newspapers covers the printing costs (ink, paper, machines, etc…), which eliminated online. All of the real money in print publications is made the same way as in online publications - advertisements. Which brings me to another question:
Does Rupert Murdoch intend to charge us for access to the online publication and then ALSO include advertisements? It is likely that he does intend to do so, which means we are really being charged on two fronts – which is ludicrous.
The next problem people can just go to another, free, online publication. Murdoch is hoping that after his publications begin to charge, then the rest will follow suit, though I imagine that he will see some resistance from other online newspapers. But even if he can get all of the major online papers to charge for content, he still has one major problem. Bloggers!
I get a great deal of news from some of my favorite blogs. Guess where my favorite bloggers get their news? You said, the major online news publications. So then what will happen then? Well, these bloggers will buy subscriptions to these online publications. Then they will blog about the news that they have just read, and I will still get the same news, for free (which is why I wouldn’t pay for access to online publications). The bloggers will then actually become more profitable because people who refuse to pay for news online (like me) will then read what these bloggers have written, and the only cost will be that they have to see an advertisement. But because their will be so many more eyeballs on these publications almost all ad dollars will flow to the blogs – not the newspapers.