Online News – Ending of your Road To get Free News Online?

Based on a current study, we’re not overly impressed with Rupert Murdoch’s plans to charge for use 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 imply 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 ‘can you ever buy online news?’, I may possibly say ‘no’, too. In the end, within an age whenever we can usually find out about major events on Twitter before the news channels report them, why would we ever want buy access to their content?

However, I would, and often do, buy quality and ‘luxury’ news. I could not pay a penny for one of many shrinking quantity of free newspapers handed out on my method to work in a day Nigerian Newspapers, but I would buy a Sunday broadsheet with all its extras and trimmings (even although odds of me actually reading greater than a few pages are extremely small).

I have been known to join a paid members’ area on the site of a particular football team (which shall remain nameless) to gain access to extra content not on the main website: video interviews and press conferences, highlights of reserve and youth team matches, live radio commentary on match days.

Would I pay to learn The Sun online? No. You can find usually no more than 2 paragraphs in each image-dominated article anyway. It only costs a few pennies to buy the real thing so there wouldn’t be much value in having its site. The Times? Maybe, but only when other quality news outlets starting charging, otherwise I’d just choose the free one.

Utilizing a Credit Card for a 20p Article?

I’m uncertain how much Mr Murdoch really wants to charge his users to learn articles, but I’m guessing there will probably be some type of account that requires setting up. I certainly couldn’t be bothered to have my wallet out every time I needed to learn something and I could be very hesitant to commit to subscribing.

On the other hand, if they had the same system to iTunes, whereby you just enter your password to gain access to a paid article and your card is billed accordingly, that will make a bit more sense. But, if I’d to achieve that for every single major news provider, it’d become very tiresome.

Ultimately, they are often shooting themselves in the foot to some extent. If the website causes it to be harder and less convenient for me personally to learn articles, I’ll probably go elsewhere. I would think that I would always manage to read the news headlines free of charge on the BBC’s website, which may not be good news for the advertising revenue of the Murdoch online empire.

Copycats

Let’s assume that I really wanted to learn articles on a paid site so badly that I handed over my credit card details for them, what might stop me ‘reporting’ about what this article said on my freely available blog? I would imagine it could be very hard for a newspaper group to avoid a large number of bloggers disseminating the information freely to their users who’d gain plenty of traffic in the process.

Recipe for Success?

The success or failure of paid news is in the method 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 unquestionably still from the whole concept and the chances are that many will endeavour and fail before a profitable system is developed. Until then, we’ll have to attend and see.



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