Based on a recent study, we’re not overly impressed with Rupert Murdoch’s plans to charge for utilization of his online news sites. Of 2,000 people asked if they would ever buy online news, 9 out of 10 said ‘No!’ ;.Does that show that Murdoch’s decision to charge users to gain access to his news sites is foolish?
I wouldn’t buy news, either, unless…
If I were asked ‘could you ever buy online news?’, I may possibly say ‘no’, too. All things considered, in a age once we can usually find out about major events on Twitter before any of the news channels report them, why would we ever want buy access for their content?
However, I’d, and often do, buy quality and ‘luxury’ news. I could not pay a cent for one of the shrinking amount of free newspapers passed out on my way to work in a morning Nigerian Newspapers, but I’d buy a Sunday broadsheet with all its extras and trimmings (even although the chances of me actually reading greater than a few pages are extremely small).
I have been proven to sign up to a settled members’ area on the site of a certain football team (which shall remain nameless) to access extra content not on the main website: video interviews and press conferences, highlights of reserve and youth team matches, live radio commentary on match days.
Would I pay to learn The Sun online? No. There are usually just about 2 paragraphs in each image-dominated article anyway. It only costs a few pennies to purchase the real thing so there wouldn’t be much value in using its site. The Times? Maybe, but only when other quality news outlets starting charging, otherwise I’d just select the free one.
Utilizing a Credit Card for a 20p Article?
I’m uncertain simply how much Mr Murdoch desires to charge his users to learn a write-up, but I’m guessing there is going to be some type of account that needs setting up. I certainly couldn’t be bothered to have my wallet out every time I needed to learn something and I will be very hesitant to commit to subscribing.
On the other hand, if they’d the same system to iTunes, whereby you merely enter your password to access a settled article and your card is billed accordingly, that might make a little more sense. But, if I’d to achieve that for every single major news provider, it would become very tiresome.
Ultimately, they could be shooting themselves in the foot with a extent. If the website helps it be harder and less convenient for me to learn a write-up, I’ll probably go elsewhere. I’d believe that I’d always have the ability to read the news for free on the BBC’s website, which would not be good news for the advertising revenue of the Murdoch online empire.
Assuming that I just wanted to learn a write-up on a settled site so badly that I handed over my charge card details in their mind, what would stop me ‘reporting’ on what this article said on my freely available blog? I’d imagine it will be very difficult for a newspaper group to stop tens and thousands of bloggers disseminating the info freely for 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, assuming that the users value this content highly enough to deem it worth paying for. The jury is definitely still from the entire concept and the chances are that many will attempt and fail before a profitable system is developed. Until then, we’ll have to attend and see.