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’d ever buy online news, 9 out of 10 said ‘No!’ ;.Does that mean that Murdoch’s decision to charge users to access his news sites is foolish?
I wouldn’t buy news, either, unless…
If I were asked ‘would you ever buy online news?’, I would probably say ‘no’, too. After all, within an age when we can usually learn about major events on Twitter before some of the news channels report them, why would we ever want buy access with their content?
However, I’d, and often do, buy quality and ‘luxury’ news. I would not pay a penny for among the shrinking quantity of free newspapers passed out on my solution to work in a day, but I’d buy a Sunday broadsheet with all its extras and trimmings (even although the likelihood of me actually reading more than a few pages are incredibly small).
I have already been recognized to sign up to a paid members’ area on the internet site of a particular football team (which shall remain nameless) to access 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 will find usually just about 2 paragraphs in each image-dominated article anyway. It only costs several pennies to get the real thing 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 select the free one.
Employing a Credit Card for a 20p Article?
I’m uncertain simply how much Mr Murdoch desires to charge his users to see a write-up, but I’m guessing there will probably be some sort naija news of account that requires setting up. I certainly couldn’t be bothered to get my wallet out each time I needed to see 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 simply enter your password to access a paid article and your card is billed accordingly, that will make a bit more sense. But, if I had 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 your website makes it harder and less convenient for me to see a write-up, I’ll probably go elsewhere. I’d believe that I’d always be able to read the news for free 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 actually wanted to see a write-up on a paid site so badly that I handed over my credit card details for them, what can stop me ‘reporting’ on which the content said on my freely available blog? I’d imagine it will be very difficult for a newspaper group to stop a large number of bloggers disseminating the information freely with their users who’d gain a lot 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, assuming that the users value this content highly enough to deem it worth paying for. The jury is certainly still from the whole concept and the odds are that lots of will endeavour and fail before a profitable system is developed. Until then, we’ll have to wait and see.