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News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch's strategy to get people to pay for content: get their credit card numbers

News Corp. Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch, whose holdings include the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, explained in an interview with his Fox Business Network how he plans to get people to pay for content online. It doesn't sound too complex.

Said Murdoch: "Simple. You turn them off. They've got to sign on. They give you their credit card number.  And that's it. And then you e-mail them and say you're putting the price up or you're taking it down or whatever."

Murdoch, who was attending the Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital conference, which draws moguls, industry leaders and regulators including Apple's Steve Jobs, Comcast's Steve Burke and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, added that "we have to charge for the electronic distribution of information, because it costs money to employ good journalists and good editors."

A highlight of the conference -- which the WSJ is smartly not streaming live although maybe it should have set up a subscription model -- was a clip of Wall Street Journal writer Kara Swisher's interview with Steve Burke, the chief operating officer of Comcast. Swisher tried to make a case for giving consumers the option to choose each channel they want and Burke countered that he'd like to just pay for the front section of the Wall Street Journal. Swisher's response was to compare the daily price of the Wall Street Journal to the monthly price of getting cable.

Besides the apples to oranges comparison, she understated the cost of her her own paper, saying it now runs 75 cents a day. Burke pointed out it was now $2.00 on the newsstand. That comes out to about $60 a month, not much less than what a digital cable subscription costs. She would've been better off noting that one can subscribe to the paper for the low price of about $120 a year, according to its website. That's a bargain.

-- Joe Flint

Video: Rupert Murdoch on paying for content.

Comments () | Archives (10)

Why would anybody in their right minds want to pay for the racist, right-wing seditionist drivel spewing out of the mouth of a foreign national like Rupert Murdoch?

If this makes FOX's content harder to find then it's a great day for humanity!

Sir Rupert has a penchant for poisoning every well he draws from.

How about he pays us to drink his swill? Don't think he has enough money to get me to read or watch what he jokingly calls 'fair & balanced'.

How about he gives us his credit card numbers?

The boy is way out of touch. Isn't he the guy that bought myspace.com Nobody uses that anymore. If he thinks anyone is going to pay for any content that News Corp has, once this generation passes, then he is just not adapting well to the digital/internet age. If his Newspapers including the Wall Street Journal last another ten years, it will be a miracle.

This will only fly with content that is unique. That's why the pay model for WSJ succeeds. There is nothing else Rupert offers in the newspaper business that comes close to being unique. These will fail. And BTW, it will be a cold day when he gets my credit card number.

The WSJ will continue to get subscribers who need the business information and analysis that it has offered in the past. Otherwise, no one will pay for the rest of the online edition. Online news sources need to get funded the old fashioned way, through advertising. When they are no longer burdened with the cost of printing and distributing paper - tons and tons of paper - every single day, they should be able to support the journalistic activities online with ad revenue. At present, advertisers have to support both print and online editions and making choices of where to spend at the moment must be very difficult indeed. There is one possibility for subscription - that is the iPad, Kindle and other such devices that could have a daily "paper" with hourly updates delivered automatically by a nominal subscription fee. This might be worthwhile to some people who don't have the time to surf the web every day for news. The main need in this area is for local content. The loss of a local daily paper reduces our ability to get information about local government, crime, and all sorts of local events and, yes, even advertising from local retailers. For some reason every local online paper seems to feel the obligation to carry a lot of the same national and international news that is on every major information website - at the expense of not having enough local content, giving the "surfer" no reason to spend more time on their website. Anyway, Murdoch's take is just wrong in any case.

The NY Times and the Wall St. Journal are two of the very very few newspapers that can and will get people to pay to access their content. They are both unique in their news coverage and are far ahead of localized blather passing for news at such establishments as the LA Times and the Boston Globe. People will pay; just gotta train them.

Rupert Murdoch spends much of his time trying to do harm to Sumner Redstone by having false stories printed about him. His time would be better spent watching after his sex hungry wife's activities.

Rupert Murdoch spends much of his time trying to do harm to Sumner Redstone by having false stories printed about him. His time would be better spent watching after his sex hungry wife's activities.

Finished my children's book, "A Pelican's Tale", June 2010.
Refuse to sell for e-books due to all the underhanded
corruption from Amazon. I just wanted to thank Mr. Ruper
Murdoch for all his efforts at keeping media sane. I'm a sixth generation Floridian(70yrs young) and would rather starve before selling my "Good Story!" to any Company whose price-wars on books is helping to destroy media/publishing industries. I'll go outside now and tell a tree what I'd like to say to those pencil-pushing Gorilla's of Marketing.
Old Florida sayin': `Don't insult a Gator till you're half-way home' Sincerely, M. Maxwell www.apelicanstale.com


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