Posted November 9, 2009 9:39 am by with 12 comments

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I’ve decided that I really don’t need as many of you coming to Marketing Pilgrim each day.

In fact, I’ve decided to start charging for the content that we publish.

Oh, but I will still keep the advertisers’ money. They’ll just have to get used to the idea that we don’t have as many eyeballs viewing their ads.

And, lastly, I’m kicking out Google. Yeah, I don’t need it bringing any additional readers to the site. They just consume extra bandwidth.

Have I gone insane?

I haven’t–I’m not really doing any of the above–but media mogul Rupert Murdoch quite possibly has!

Speaking in an interview with his own Sky News Australia channel, Murdoch–whom I can never look at without thinking of Spitting Image–bluntly explained how he might ban Google from indexing his newspapers’ content:

“I think we will [remove our websites from Google’s search index] but that’s when we start charging,” he said.

He added: "The people who simply just pick up everything and run with it – steal our stories, we say they steal our stories – they just take them. That’s Google, that’s Microsoft, that’s, a whole lot of people … they shouldn’t have had it free all the time, and I think we’ve been asleep."

I’m not going to bore you to death with obvious statements about the death of newspapers and web users expecting free content, so I’ll just let you make up your own mind as to whether Murdoch is a genius or not.

For those of you interested, you can watch the entire interview here, or below:

  • Hicham

    i think in the future we’ll see these newspapers sending a monthly bill to google.
    Google can’t just continue to use newspaper’s content and make billions while they are going bankrupt.

    I never saw a google employe going to irak to write an article/video about the war.

  • Cut your nose off to spite your face comes to mind.

    Advertising revenue is News Corps biggest revenue stream by reducing access to your Sites will reduce revenues.

    Signed Carl Barron Chairman of agpcuk

  • The heart of the problem with most news today is that it has become a true commodity – low in value and easy to find.

    Sure there are a few sources of original quality news remaining – in English, The BBC, The New York Times and The Economist come to mind. But even the quality sources of news are multiple – and to the extent one of them remains “free” (ad or non-profit foundation supported), there won’t be sufficient scarcity to support the paid content model on the web. That is just plain economics.

    Murdoch does now own the Wall Street Journal, one of the pioneers of paid content on the web – yet financial news is, and will remain, a niche. In some areas, local news could possibly be funded by a paid model but even there, is the quality sufficient to drive demand? I doubt it.

    In Italy, one publisher has suggested a tax on Internet connections to fund news sources. While that does seem to be an easy solution for publishers, it unfairly penalizes the vast number of people who aren’t interested in subsidizing the vast numbers of dubious “quality” news sources out there, Murdoch’s own US Fox “News” topping my list.
    .-= Sean Carlos´s last blog ..Yahoo Web Analytics (ex IndexTools) soon in no man’s land? =-.

  • Kain

    Everyone thought he was mad when he started charging for TV content when there was so much free content too but he proved them wrong.

    Paid content is going to be the future of the Internet, there is just too much low quality free content, this will make people willing to pay for high quality reliable content. (Not that most of the rubbish that comes from NewsCorp could be called quality or reliable)

    Also, you do not need to have huge numbers of paid subscribers to be profitable.

    This will be bad news for Google who make their living leeching off other peoples free content, although I think they are safe for a while yet.

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  • Very good point. Of course, when you already have a critical mass of visitors, you can just ban the crawler. It’s different when you need to push your content on the web…
    .-= Ahmad Barirani´s last blog ..If the Reliable Search Result is Wikipedia, Then Why use Google? =-.

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  • Well, Sky went rather well in the end, although I know a lot of people that just have Freeview these days -having tried out Sky and other paid services and found them not really worth the extra cost.

    I certainly won’t be paying for online news articles – if i want to pay for a paper, I’ll go down to the shop and buy one and if I were an advertiser, I would be a little annoyed/worried right now.
    .-= Luci´s last blog ..SEO Video Tutorial – Google Analytics Intelligence #24 =-.

  • ummm has heard of IP delivery? Deliver full content to the search engines so they can index them and then when visitors come to the site they are required to sign-up. Why doesnt he do this?
    .-= Jaan Kanellis´s last blog ..Sitelinks in Google AdWords Ads? =-.

  • What is insane? Streaming free animes that compete against your own joint venture – FOR NO AD REVENUE TO YOU AT ALL – and then saying that does not generate enough revenue and needs to go to a paid content model?

    If being more tolerant of the bootleg streams than sites like Veoh, Imeem or Megavideo is to drive traffic to MySpace, in light of the likely ~$100m in lost ad revenue from Google due to the drop in MySpace traffic – why allow the raw .flv files to stream directly off the servers? With no point of contact back to MySpace?

    Most likely the people who can make strategic decisions at Newscorp are too many levels above the people doing the work on the ground, and they don’t even realize that they are shooting their own joint venture in the foot.
    .-= BruceMcF´s last blog ..Sunday Train: Rescuing the Innocent Amtrak Numbers from SubsidyScope =-.

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  • I think I’m going to mail Rupert Murdock a 11×17 card stock note that says in giant type on one side “robots.txt” and when he flips it over it will say “Now shut the F up”.

    Seriously, with every statement like this the industry makes the more they expose their complete failure at basic web concepts, and reveal the reason for their failures to survive in the online world. There is no reason these guys shouldn’t have been the search engines and have the online world completely in their hands, no reason except utter and complete idiocy. Yeah, that sounds harsh, but I firmly believe without a shadow of a doubt that these guys have less comprehension of the modern world around them than most high school age students. They should be embarrassed to call themselves executives and their employees should fear every day for their future.