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News Corp: “Free is too expensive”

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News Corp: “Free is too expensive”

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The Murdoch saga continues with the mogul asking other publishers to come on board with his pay wall plans.

Speaking at workshop titled ‘How will journalism survive the internet age’, run by the US Federal Trade Commission, Sir Rupert Murdoch addressed the criticism of his pay wall plan. Many have lambasted the plan, asking who would pay when it is available free elsewhere, but Murdoch’s solution is to have other publishers follow suit.

We need to do a better job of persuading consumers that high-quality reliable news and information does not come for free… Good journalism is an expensive commodity,” said Murdoch.

CEO of News Corp owned Dow Jones, Les Hinton preceded the comments, speaking in India at the World Newspaper Congress. Hinton warned to beware geeks bearing gifts, saying:

“Because news costs. Because quality costs. Because free sets the price too low. Because free isn’t sustainable. Because free is too expensive.

Hinton said there was a disconnect between what measurement marketers were seeking and what publishers were providing:

Ironically, what they now want is more ‘old media’ metrics they are used to getting from print and television. It supports what we have been saying all along: that audiences exposed to display advertising on high-quality content sites are more engaged, more favourable towards a brand, and are more likely to spend.

The call-to-arms come as Google made a concession to the media, allowing publishers to limit the number of free views available via Google.

If youre a Google user, this means that you may start to see a registration page after youve clicked through to more than five articles on the website of a publisher using First Click Free in a day… while allowing publishers to focus on potential subscribers who are accessing a lot of their content on a regular basis, said Josh Cohen, Google’s senior business product manager in an official blog.

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