The 'internet is free' is a cry often heard when firms try to charge for content, but creation of content that is put online carries costs. Prior to the current economic downturn online content was largely funded by selling advertising space on a site, but a combination of firms cutting back on advertising, or simply demanding the same slots but for a lower price has affected many media outlets.
ITV has just reported a half year loss of £105 million hit heavily by drops in advertising revenue and there is the news that News Corp is to try and generate more revenue by charging for access to its online content.
The move by Mr Murdoch is not totally new, some outlets such as the The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times already charge for content, the big question is whether the public would accept paying for access to sites like The Sun and The Times. In a competitive world though this move may simply see people visiting alternate news outlets, and in the case of the UK make the BBC News website even more dominant for online content.