Rupert Murdoch Is Taking Calculated Risks With Times Paywall

The announcement by News Corp a few days ago that it will charge a fee for content that appears on the Times and Sunday Times must be seen as a calculated risk by Rupert Murdoch rather than a deliberate attempt to destroy one of the most read news websites in the UK.

If there's something that brings together Warren Buffett, the Sage of Omaha and one of the world's richest men and Rupert Murdoch, one of the most powerful media owners on the planet, it is their abilities to stick to their beliefs even if it sometimes defies logic.

Many have questioned whether it is actually right for a news website like the Times to charge up to £104 for news that will be free elsewhere anyway.

Both the Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times can charge because they are niche players, albeit very large ones and most importantly because they are trusted.

However, producing news, however you look at it, is not free and the bold move of Mr Murdoch is a welcomed one in the sense that it provides a stark reminder to everyone outside the business of content production that there's a huge industry that relies on some kind of revenue to survive.

Traditional print advertising has been the most exposed and the one which took the biggest hit over the last few years with the number of advertisers dwindling and an audience disappearing faster than German beer at an Oktoberfest.

It is therefore understandable that Murdoch, who owns a significant amount of newspapers, launches the first salvo in this ongoing battle that will determine the fate of the print industry.

The bottom line is that good, quality journalism, just like great food, costs money - a lot. And as one close friend would put it; pay peanuts (for journalists), get monkeys.

Our Comments

News Corp is bleeding money and something - rather than nothing - has to be done to stop that hemorrhage even if that means going against all odds. Some are also saying that Murdoch might be looking to preserve sales of its print products which might be true but we suspect that there's a much bigger plan to it.

Related Links

Why the future of good news is not free

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The Times defends its paywall

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Yes, Rupert Murdoch is taking a risk but don’t write off his paywall

(Thisislondon)

End to free news online

(The Sun Daily)