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Murdoch to unveil paywall for news content soon

News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch said the company planned to hold a press conference "in three to four weeks" to announce details of a new subscription model for news and other digital content.

People with knowledge of the situation said that Murdoch is poised to announce details of plans to form a consortium that would charge for news distributed online and on portable devices. News Corp. executives met with publishers last summer to discuss joining forces to collect fees from readers who access stories via the Internet or their gadgets. MurDOCH1ifkhnc

"Today, we're in final discussions with a number of publishers, device makers and technology companies and soon we'll deliver an innovative subscription model that will deliver content to consumers whenever, wherever they want it," Murdoch said Tuesday, during News Corp.'s third-quarter earnings call.

Under the proposal, diverse news organizations would contribute stories and videos to a website that could be accessed by those who pay subscription fees. The participants would each be compensated on a pro-rated basis, determined by the amount of content they contribute to the site.

News Corp. would provide the technology to power the subscription news offering, drawing from systems that already exist to power the Wall Street Journal's online site, people familiar with the proposal say.

Murdoch, during the earnings call, said revenue from digital distribution -- whether via a website or portable devices such as Apple Inc.'s new tablet computer, the iPad -- amounts to a windfall for media corporations. 

"Now we're charging about $4 a week for the Wall Street Journal" on the iPad, Murdoch said. "And that is an introductory thing. I imagine over the years, that will creep up, and it doesn't cost a penny in incremental cost."

The Journal has attracted 64,000 subscribers since the launch of the iPad in April.

Murdoch told analysts and journalists that he envisions incorporating entertainment content as well.

-- Dawn C. Chmielewski

Photo: Rupert Murdoch. Credit: Stephen Chernin / Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (14)

And thus will end Murdochs time as a news baron. News is like water, it finds it's way.

The last of the dinosaurs, who, along with tv execs, imagines he can do business the way he used to, never able to understand or adapt to the changing times. We are a new generation and we consume information differently, and we no longer bow to the formats or prices dictated to us.

Shh! Don't give away our secrets!

It just won’t work, even if the Journal had a good initial subscriber base. Technology today is way beyond the “pay” module for news. Look at the pay encyclopedia sites (if you can find them anymore), Wikipedia, despite it’s questionable posting and updating procedure, is good enough for most internet users as a source of information. The same will happen with news if it becomes subscription only. It’s another misguided attempt to bleed money out of people who for the most part are trying desperately to decrease their spending. And what about the ads, will they remove all pay ads and banners on the site, or will they expect people to pay for the advertisements they’re also selling? Like broadcast/cable they should be looking for retransmission agreements with carriers. So my internet provider may need to increase their rates 5%, it’s a monthly bill I already pay and can absorb that into my budget. That percentage can be used for retrans costs as cable is doing now. That would work.

This plan is FAIL. HaHa

Looks like someone will be filing for bankruptcy soon! Let's not forget that the bulk of News Corps. news operations are tabloid, fake news papers followed by Fox News which is only viewed by a small segment of so-called conservatives in the USA who don't even realize it is an Australian based company.

What's next? having to pay for your myspace profile? Hopefully this is just for premium content, not all of the site. (most of which is just AP newsfeeds anyways)

Shouldn't the headline read: Murdoch to go out of business soon.


There's a reason why LA Times subscriptions have been falling. The lack of using a spell checker is one of them. If LA Times buys into Murdoch's plan, that'll be another reason.

Wall Street Journal is dying and News Corps products are profit losers. Only its tabloids are doing well

Greedy old man stuck in the 20th century.

I don't hope for the downfall and failure of people. However, if and when Murdoch does fail, I will not mind one little bit. His defense of his lunatic of a commentator Glenn Beck is just plain despicable.

This evil dude is blinded by fools gold. He just doesn't understand the net, instead he is trying to remake the world in his extreme right wing image.

Won't work Mr. Burns!

Silly old bugger.

If you own News Corp stock, dump it. If you don't, short it.

Ol' Rupert was a power in his day, but time moves on and even the brightest mind grows dim. he is so accustomed to getting what he wants, he believes the sheer force of his willpower alone can make this rube goldberg scheme work.

Well markets aren't quite as easy to buy and intimidate as politicians, and the man who has paid lip service to free enterprise while leaning on craven governments to do his bidding is in for an awful shock.

Major prediction: If he goes paywall, free news sites will spring up within 48 hours.

That's the market at work, baby.


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