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News Corp to move to charging for more content
Friday 07 August 2009 01:00:50 by Andrew Ferguson

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.


Posted by Capn over 8 years ago
Anyone wanting to read the sites will simply wait for someone to blog about an article and read the copy pasted version from there. Meanwhile News Corp won't be getting ad revenue from the people who previously browsed for free.
Posted by otester over 8 years ago
Paying? Nope, if anyone is interested still this will just lead to Torrenting of pay-news sites.

But to be honest, New Corps content is pretty ****.
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
ITV is also considering making some of its TV channels Pay to view. There's even a suggestion that it might withdraw from it's public service obligation and move all of them.

Personally I doubt it will do any of these things but it shows that the cracks in the advertising revenue strategy are widening.

..then again anyone that can rent a 12Mb/s satellite transponder and use it to show a black and white text image 22 hours a day is probably pretty clueless anyway :)
Posted by RepairExpert over 8 years ago
If ITV make some of it's channels Pay to View on Freeview then they'll probably be no-one left watching them. Like the other companies that have tried it; it didn't work; Freeview should be free; that's surely the whole point of it..
Posted by Essex over 8 years ago
ITV should start havinga go at BBC via Ofocm to truly get the markets competive. The BBC is virtually a Plc organistaion running many areas of it business at a profit. This is on the backs of every Licence payer. Get the market fair and competative. Then it will be profits for everyone.
Posted by otester over 8 years ago

The problem with opening everything up is that it would end up like it is in the USA, biased corporate dominance. The BBC is what is keeping the other from turning like the America's.

The BBC isnt completely unbiased, but defintely the better than the alternative.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
To quote a blog I read, "Good luck with that".

Essex - They have a big fat public service mandate they have to fill. If you remove that then yea, you can take the liscence fee away. (Hint: Not happening)
Posted by premier over 8 years ago
The WSJ and FT are able to charge for content as they are niche players, and the financial industry is used to paying subscriptions for information.

A 100% charging model for 'general' news is doomed to failure; providing free news and charging for the value-added and/or unique content may work. For example, for The Times they could charge for access to the archive, as that is an obvious unique niche.
Posted by premier over 8 years ago

ITV plc won't do that as they are a tiny player globally (and they don't even own all the "ITV" franchises), and so they'd become vulnerable to the big media companies. What ITV would like is for the restrictions placed on them when Granada and Carlton merged to form ITV removed; and they see making their non-PSB channels subscription-only means they reduce their dependence on Advertising revenue. Making ITV1 subscription would be nigh-impossible (because they don't own all the franchises, so the non-ITV plc broadcasters would have to agree).
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
otester I find the bbc very bias, I am not saying the other networks are not, but the bbc is far from innocent.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
my other post attcking murdoch seems to have ddisapeared O_o
Posted by otester over 8 years ago

If you search on their website, they cover a lot of the stuff independent media does without bias usually.

When it comes to BBC News (TV) then I'd definitely agree.
Posted by Groovehound over 8 years ago
Hahahahaha, what so it's going to be for people like the mugs who pay for Sky TV and have to watch a hefty number of adverts on channels they already paid for? A pay website with adverts anyway - the worst of both worlds for the end user? Well the end user will walk. Just make sure News Corp can't get any more of a monopoly than it already has.
Posted by fox-uk over 8 years ago
ITV has just lost £150 million on facebook.

The decline in use and value is attributed to it's change to 'paid for by subscription' from 'paid for by advertising'.

The change back was to late to prevent it's demise. The purchasers have stated that they paid the £25M for the 'Genes Reunited' site and saw 'Friends Reunited' as having little significant value.

The writing is on the wall, the Internet will remain FREE, or not be used.
Posted by Chilli_Burger over 8 years ago
ITV have not lost anything on Facebook, it was Friends United.
Posted by Blood-Donor over 8 years ago
I will most certainly never pay to gt the news online. Murdoch is living in Cloud-Cuckoo-Land.
Posted by scragglymonk over 8 years ago
recall when the sun used to be a lot more than 20 pence, guess it had to be dropped in price so the builders could afford it :)
Posted by shaunhw over 8 years ago
If ITV withdraws from its PSO then it should lose the right to broadcast on its analogue channels, and that part of the digital terrestrial multiplex it currently uses.

Having said that, who watches that much TV any more ? I certainly don't think I'd pay for the mass of repeats shown on ITV2, 3 and 4.

Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
I hold more value in repeats than itv1, the old days of watching shows when they first air is dying. VoD is the future. Whether its repeats or proper VoD.
Posted by TGVrecord over 8 years ago
Many of the classic TV shows shown by ITV on its digital channels only highlight how poor the crop of new programs are in general
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