Jun 7, 2011

The great News experiment begins

As expected, today at the Mumbrella360 conference News Limited’s Richard Freudenstein announced that the company’s Australian newspapers will erect paywalls for some of their content online.

Margaret Simons

Journalist, author and director of the Centre for Advanced Journalism

So the great experiment begins. As expected, today at the Mumbrella360 conference News Limited’s Richard Freudenstein announced that the company’s Australian newspapers will erect paywalls for some of their content online.

As reported in The Australian today, the experiment will begin in October with The Australian. As yet undefined “premium” content will go behind the paywall, while “breaking news, wire stories and broad interest stories” will remain free.

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34 thoughts on “The great News experiment begins

  1. wilful

    There will be many niche competitors.

    Gosh, can we think of any in Australia? Crikey I don’t know if we have any!

    Maybe some email based news and analysis daily circular. If there was a business model.

  2. Gavin Moodie

    I don’t like periodic subscriptions for most things (Crikey excepted). For the Australian I would far prefer pay per view – paying for articles I identify as interesting. It would also be critical for me to be able to copy and store paid content electronically – the crap on line application of the Australian Financial Review is too terrible to contemplate.

  3. Scott

    Gavin Moodie – I think this will be the end game. Pay per view with mocropayments for particular content. Or opt-in subscriptions to particular interest streams..i.e Sport, Business etc
    This will be the future of news media.

  4. Gavin Moodie

    Thanx Scott. I would also gladly pay a subscription for my section of particular interest. I already have a free RSS feed and would be happy enough to pay for that. But it would be good if the Australian improved its RSS service: often content is put on the RSS feed days after it is published on line and even in print, and sometimes they seem to miss relevant content altogether.

  5. twobob

    Pay money to be told bull$hit!
    From the oo no less?
    What a farce.

  6. Ataraxi

    Well, if it results in less “quality” journalism from the Oz being foist freely upon the public, then I’m broadly in favour.

  7. david

    Murdoch will not get 1 cent from my family, never ever.

  8. ggm

    those titles have been increasingly syndicating copy within the group, and losing their local touch.

    No kidding! But I’m glad you said ‘increasingly’ because I suspect Rupe has been leveraging his international brand holdings far far far longer than we’ve realized. Making an entire page of the OZ a clone of the WSJ and re-factoring his overseas print stories is just doin’ bidness as far as they’re concerned. Why pay a stringer if you can steal in-house?

    Oh, and the courier has become sufficiently vituperative, slanted and one-eyed that you will find almost nobody in Brisbane who seeks to deny that its a shill for an anti-Bligh position, on any topic. The floods completely floored them, because they had no choice but to adopt a more neutral stance. Thank goodness ‘can-do campbell threw his hat in the ring so they can go back to what they do best: mindless labor-bashing. (did you know Labor causes cancer? The courier does!)

    The free sheets are going gangbusters. Another overseas trend which frankly I cannot fathom: why sh*t in your own nest as a defensive posture?

    I want somebody to take the News Ltd annual report apart. It is not credible for News to claim retained profits. They have a legal obligation to fess up to their risk of exposure to declining ad revenue and longterm asset value. There are no secrets from money. I think the second generation is going to find that daddy has spent the Inheritance on MySpace.

  9. Stevo the Working Twistie

    I got really excited for a while when I first saw this. I could put up with a bit of midless Penberthy or Blot drivel if it meant a bit of extra cash. But wait, they want ME to pay THEM?


  10. Oscar Jones

    Very interesting. The Australian has been ahead of the game with it’s digital version (why is Fairfax so slack in that department ?) but how many will really pay for their on-line content ?

    Normally I would, but the way the Oz has gone over the last 3 years or so with it’s blatant swing to the right and it’s outrageous twists of the truth it has totally devalued itself as a commodity.

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