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 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 would probably say ‘no’, too. In the end, in an age whenever we can usually read about major events on Twitter before some of the news channels report them, why would we ever want buy access to their content?
However, I’d, and often do, buy quality and ‘luxury’ news. I would never pay a dime for one of the shrinking quantity of free newspapers passed out on my solution to work in a morning Nigerian Newspapers, but I’d buy 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 been recognized to sign up to a paid members’ area on the internet site of a specific football team (which shall remain nameless) to get 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 read The Sun online? No. You will find usually just about 2 paragraphs in each image-dominated article anyway. It only costs a couple of pennies to buy genuine so there wouldn’t be much value in using its site. The Times? Maybe, but only if other quality news outlets starting charging, otherwise I’d just choose the free one.
Using a Credit Card for a 20p Article?
I’m uncertain simply how much Mr Murdoch desires to charge his users to read an article, but I’m guessing there will probably be some sort of account that really needs setting up. I certainly couldn’t be bothered to get my wallet out everytime I wanted to read 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 only enter your password to get access to a paid article and your card is billed accordingly, that could make a little more sense. But, if I’d to do that for every single major news provider, it’d become very tiresome.
Ultimately, they could be shooting themselves in the foot to some extent. If the site causes it to be harder and less convenient for me personally to read an article, I’ll probably go elsewhere. I’d believe that I’d always manage to read the news headlines free of charge on the BBC’s website, which will not be good news for the advertising revenue of the Murdoch online empire.
Let’s assume that I really wanted to read an article on a paid site so badly that I handed over my credit card details in their mind, what might stop me ‘reporting’ about what the article said on my freely available blog? I’d imagine it will be very difficult for a newspaper group to prevent thousands of bloggers disseminating the info freely to their users who would gain plenty of traffic in the process.
Recipe for Success?
The success or failure of paid news is in the technique used to charge and engage with users, let’s assume that the users value the content highly enough to deem it worth paying for. The jury is definitely still from the entire concept and the odds are that lots of will endeavour and fail before a profitable system is developed. Until then, we’ll have to hold back and see.