According to a current study, we’re not overly impressed with Rupert Murdoch’s plans to charge for usage of his online news sites. Of 2,000 people asked if they would ever pay for online news, 9 out of 10 said ‘No!’ ;.Does that mean that Murdoch’s decision to charge users to gain access to his news sites is foolish?
I wouldn’t pay for news, either, unless…
If I were asked ‘can you ever pay for online news?’, I may possibly say ‘no’, too. In the end, in a age whenever we can usually read about major events on Twitter before any of the news channels report them, why would we ever want pay for access to their content?
However, I would, and often do, pay for quality and ‘luxury’ news. I could not pay a dollar for one of many shrinking amount of free newspapers handed out on my way to work in a morning Nigerian Newspapers, but I would pay for a Sunday broadsheet with all its extras and trimmings (even although the odds of me actually reading higher than a few pages are really small).
I’ve also been recognized to sign up to a settled members’ area on the internet site of a particular football team (which shall remain nameless) to gain access to extra content not on the key website: video interviews and press conferences, highlights of reserve and youth team matches, live radio commentary on match days.
Would I pay to see The Sun online? No. You can find usually only about 2 paragraphs in each image-dominated article anyway. It only costs several pennies to purchase the genuine article so there wouldn’t be much value in having its site. The Times? Maybe, but as long as other quality news outlets starting charging, otherwise I’d just choose the free one.
Utilizing a Credit Card for a 20p Article?
I’m unsure simply how much Mr Murdoch wants to charge his users to see an article, but I’m guessing there will probably be some sort of account that requires setting up. I certainly couldn’t be bothered to have my wallet out each time I wanted to see something and I would be very hesitant to commit to subscribing.
On the other hand, if they’d an identical system to iTunes, whereby you merely enter your password to gain access to a settled article and your card is billed accordingly, that could make a little more sense. But, if I had to do that for every single major news provider, it would become very tiresome.
Ultimately, they may be shooting themselves in the foot to some extent. If the website causes it to be harder and less convenient for me personally to see an article, I’ll probably go elsewhere. I would think that I would always be able to read the headlines free of charge on the BBC’s website, which may not be good news for the advertising revenue of the Murdoch online empire.
Let’s assume that I actually wanted to see an article on a settled site so badly that I handed over my charge card details in their mind, what might stop me ‘reporting’ about what this article said on my freely available blog? I would imagine it would be very hard for a newspaper group to prevent 1000s of bloggers disseminating the data freely to their users who’d gain plenty of traffic in the process.
Recipe for Success?
The success or failure of paid news is in the method used to charge and engage with users, let’s assume that the users value this content highly enough to deem it worth paying for. The jury is definitely still from the whole concept and the odds are that many will endeavour and fail before a profitable system is developed. Until then, we’ll have to wait and see.