News Corp will charge for newspaper websites “within a year”


As we’ve often discussed in class, all the major newspaper sites would like to charge for their content, but they’ve felt unable to, (a) because of the BBC, and (b) because nobody wanted to be first.

I filled in a Times online survey the other day, and from the tone of the questions I could sense this one coming. “How often do you PAY for a copy of The Times?” Er, never.

I’ve never really understood their problem with the BBC web site, which is very much News Lite, with very little analysis or comment, one sentence paragraphs and so on, but the principle of paying for regurgitated Reuters newswire reports doesn’t really fit, either.

Would I pay to read Clarkson in The Times? No. You might as well wait for the in-time-for-Festivus book, or the DVD etc. What are newspapers actually for? Discuss.

News Corp’s newspaper division barely broke even, with quarterly profits collapsing from $216m to $7m year-on-year. Advertising revenue in Britain fell by 21% and Murdoch revealed the Sunday Times is struggling: “It’s still in profit, but only just so.” The tabloids had fared better, aided by price battles at supermarkets which spend heavily on print promotions.

News Corp will charge for newspaper websites, says Rupert Murdoch.