Rupert Murdoch expects to start charging for access to News Corporation's newspaper websites within a year. 'The current days of the internet will soon be over,' he said, as the media strived to fix a 'malfunctioning' business model. Would you pay to read papers online?
The sub-headline from The Guardian says it all. For Murdoch 'free' is a nasty four-letter word and he will do everything in his power to turn the internet into a money-grabbing mirror of his off-line businesses. Just have a look at his media interests, from The Times, The Sun and Sky in the UK to Fox Network and Dow Jones in the USA, and many many more. Oh yeah, he owns MySpace too.
Just don't become dependent on any one platform in case you're suddenly trapped into paying for the privilege or closing your account. The internet is changing from the idealist information superhighway to the social web 2.0 to the corporate pay-per-net. But without users these sites have no influence and hence little advertising. This will be a great test to see how fast people will flee from a subscription news site. But, what if they don't?
Would you pay to read the news online? As newspapers have always sold a particular political spin, rather than any raw news, would you pay to read news that's spun to your liking?
Take our TrendWagon poll at the top-right corner of this page. (Closes 15 May 2009)