According to 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 purchase online news, 9 out of 10 said ‘No!’ ;.Does that signify Murdoch’s decision to charge users to gain access to his news sites is foolish?
I wouldn’t purchase news, either, unless…
If I were asked ‘could you ever purchase online news?’, I would probably say ‘no’, too. All things considered, in a age once we can usually find out about major events on Twitter before some of the news channels report them, why would we ever want purchase access for their content?
However, I’d, and often do, purchase quality and ‘luxury’ news. I would not pay a dollar for one of the shrinking number of free newspapers passed out on my way to work in a day Nigerian Newspapers, but I’d purchase a Sunday broadsheet with all its extras and trimmings (even although the chances of me actually reading higher than a few pages are really small).
I have already been proven to join a settled members’ area on the internet site of a particular football team (which shall remain nameless) to gain access to extra content not available 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. You will find usually only about 2 paragraphs in each image-dominated article anyway. It only costs a few pennies to buy the genuine article so there wouldn’t be much value in having its site. The Times? Maybe, but only if all other quality news outlets starting charging, otherwise I’d just select the free one.
Utilizing a Credit Card for a 20p Article?
I’m not sure simply how much Mr Murdoch really wants to charge his users to learn an article, but I’m guessing there will be some sort of account that requires setting up. I certainly couldn’t be bothered to obtain my wallet out every time I needed to learn something and I could be very hesitant to commit to subscribing.
On another hand, if they’d a similar system to iTunes, whereby you only enter your password to gain access to a settled article and your card is billed accordingly, which may make a little more sense. But, if I’d to achieve that for every single major news provider, it’d become very tiresome.
Ultimately, they may be shooting themselves in the foot with a extent. If the site makes it harder and less convenient for me to learn an article, I’ll probably go elsewhere. I’d believe that I’d always have the ability to read the news headlines 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 an article on a settled site so badly that I handed over my bank card details to them, what would stop me ‘reporting’ about what this article said on my freely available blog? I’d imagine it could be quite difficult for a newspaper group to avoid a large number of bloggers disseminating the information freely for their users who would gain a lot of traffic in the process.
Recipe for Success?
The success or failure of paid news is in the strategy 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 certainly still on the entire concept and the chances are that many will endeavour and fail before a profitable system is developed. Until then, we’ll have to wait and see.