Friday, September 03, 2010

Murdoch's paid content experiment: #fail

A high-profile experiment to force people to pay for online news has failed on several counts, writes Ian Burrell in the Independent. A rival newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch, The Times, created a pay wall earlier this year. As expected, traffic dropped through the floor. But even more worrying was the impact on another key revenue stream: Advertising. Writes Burrell:
Faced with a collapse in traffic to, some advertisers have simply abandoned the site. Rob Lynam, head of press trading at the media agency MEC, whose clients include Lloyds Banking Group, Orange, Morrisons and Chanel, says, "We are just not advertising on it. If there's no traffic on there, there's no point in advertising on there."

He warns that newspaper organisations have less muscle in internet advertising campaigns than they do in print. "Online, we have far more options than just newspaper websites – it's not a huge loss to anyone really. If we are considering using some newspaper websites, The Times is just not in consideration.

The other problem for The Times is there is no niche content differentiation. It's specialty is national and international news as well as conservative political commentary -- content that is readily available for free elsewhere. In my opinion, Murdoch's niche titles with high-value readers such as the Wall Street Journal will probably fare better, especially if competitors also use pay walls. But, as I said earlier in the summer, "news, commentary, and analysis in most other fields is rapidly becoming a commodity in a sea of information alternatives." Attempts to make people pay more for a commodity product will invariably fail.

Link: PaidContent

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments will be reviewed before being published. Spam, off-topic or hateful comments will be removed.