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.


Stephen Waddington said...

I wonder if he has a trick up his sleeve? If so its a slow reveal.

Bandwidth and server space are presumably the digital equivalent of ink.

Anthony veitch said...

That is what I always assumed, a trick we may not have thought of. And one trick may have be the huge reduction of costs as speculated this week (esp in combining Sunday title). What he may have overlooked is dwindling content (your point) and less influence to sell. (Apparently very few hard copy subscribers are going beyond the paywall and it's free for them) I have always contended that the barrier at paywalls is much about fiddle, can't be arsed and time cost as it is about money.