Friday, 16 July 2010

Rupert - Free at Last (from readers)

Rupert Murdoch should have had something up his sleeve when came to the paywall. It always looked so much like a loser that Rupert had to know better than us. There had to be a way that he knew to take direct payments for commodified news.

WSJ worked for News Corporation. Unique news that’s ‘vital’ to your livelihood – that will always sell. And we did not expect The Sun to hide its boobs behind the wall.

The Times was always going to be at the margin – a brand whose potential lay on the grey border between free and pay. The title may yet carve out a profitable niche leaving no room for another paid-for competitor. But is not the risk that threatens that of a long term decline in terms of the political influence of the paper?

Never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel. Whatever the digital equivalent of ink, Rupert is buying a lot less. And hence – it looks like he may be buying a lot less clout. Or in the future will he depend on Sky News? And a new friendship in Downing Street.

The Alexa figure for reach for The Times are here.

This article first appeared at on 5 July 2010.