I checked out my twitter replies this morning and there was one from farhanlaji:
Farhan is referring to comments Rupert Murdoch made on News Corp's earnings call about turning all of News Corp's (NASDAQ:NWS) news sites into paid properties.
I'm eager to see News Corp do this. We can talk until we are blue in the face about whether people will pay for news or not. Talk is cheap. Actions are not. So I'm eager to see the experiments begin.
I've said that I think a freemium model is best where the "drive by visitor" does not have to register or pay to view content on news sites. I like the model where the more frequent a visitor is, the more is required of them. Maybe registration on the third or fourth visit, once the content has proven to be valuable. And maybe payment for the most frequent visitors/users. I blogged about this model recently.
But there's more than one revenue model for online content. Clearly advertising is going to be part of all of them. For some, advertising is enough. I'm close to several niche online properties who are making money with an "ad only" model. It works for some. For others, a subscription model will have to be used to supplement ad revenue. And so I am eager to see what News Corp comes up with.
They already have a subscription model in place at the WSJ. I don't like the WSJ's model as much as the FT's model and I explained why in the post I linked to above. But News Corp has a model they could propogate across their other news sites. It's not clear to me that newspapers like The Sun, The Times (NYSE:NYT), and The Post will be able to make the WSJ's model work. And that's what interests me. What will News Corp do for those properties? And will it work?
So let's get on with it. Let the experiments with paid news begin.