News plans ‘company-wide’ online charges

THE first pillars in News Corporation’s company-wide strategy to charge for online content may be erected within the next 12 months.

Chairman Rupert Murdoch said during an investor call overnight that all the company’s websites could begin charging “within the current financial year”. News runs its fiscal year to June 30.

Programmers and hardware engineers were currently working with management to create a user-friendly experience for purchasing content, he said.

Mr Murdoch said News intended to charge for content on “all our web sites” – a statement made during a call in which he announced a significant drop in profit.

“Quality journalism is not cheap,” he said. “An industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalising its ability to to produce good reporting.”

His experience with charging for premium content at the Wall St Journal had proven “to me that the market is willing to pay for that quality”.

The commercial, structural changes to media could not be ignored and classified advertising revenues would never return, he said.

However, Mr Murdoch told investors he was “confident” News Corp would produce “significant revenues from the digital delivery of newspaper content”.

During the call, Mr Murdoch also discussed his optmism following a full-year loss at News Corp of US$3.4 billion. That is a fall from a US$5.4 billion profit achieved in the company’s previous fiscal year.

The News boss said his company was poised to again deliver “strong profits and returns” as the “economy rebounds”.


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One Response to “News plans ‘company-wide’ online charges”

  1. McCarthy: Fairfax paywall ‘has to happen’ « PANPA News Says:

    […] PANPA News Just another weblog « News plans ‘company-wide’ online charges […]

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