News Corp to charge for online news content, Murdoch says
News Corp is to begin charging web users to access online content from a number of its publications within the next year, it has emerged (Craig Nicholson article)
Rupert Murdoch has announced that his News Corp will begin charging for online access to its content in the next 12 months.
Speaking at a conference call, the media tycoon said that he was heartened by the success of the Wall Street Journal, which offers subscription-only access to much of its online content and has posted rising revenues in recent months.
Mr Murdoch said that he was considering erecting pay walls for both his US and international publications – including those in the UK, such as the Sun, the Times and the News of the World.
“That it is possible to charge for content on the web is obvious from the Wall Street Journal’s experience,” he commented, stating that the current free access model employed by many newspaper sites is “malfunctioning”.
A number of US newspapers have either closed down or are struggling financially due to the recession hampering ad revenues, with some executives placing the blame at the feet of Google, which they claim is effectively making its own millions through ads placed alongside links to publications’ own content.
However, Google UK director Matt Brittin recently told the FIPP World Magazine Congress in London that the search engine actually generated $5 billion (£3.3 billion) for publishers last year through its AdSense service.