06 August 2009

Rupert's Roller-Coaster

It's hard keeping up with Rupert Murdoch's fortunes on the Internet.

First, he blew it: he ignored the Net, declaring it of no interest. Then he hit the jackpot, buying MySpace for what seemed an incredibly low price: just $580 million, when Facebook was being valued at billions. That's looking expensive today:

News Corp specifically blames MySpace for a loss of $363 million to the company’s bottom line

And now, it looks like Rupert has really lost it:

"Quality journalism is not cheap," said Murdoch. "The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive distribution channels but it has not made content free. We intend to charge for all our news websites."

Good luck with that, Rupe.

I think it's interesting that I almost never quote from or link to News International titles: there's simply too little there of interest. By contrast, I *do* link quite often to New York Times and Guardian stories, both of which offer stuff not covered elsewhere. So I don't think I'm going to miss Mr Murdoch's titles when they suddenly fall off the digital radar...

7 comments:

zaine_ridling said...

Maybe Rupert should pay the people Newscorp writes stories and reports about? If he's going to make money off them, isn't that same argument he's making against Google and the blogs?

I remember about three years ago when the NYTimes went dark and walled off its content behind paid subscriptions.

Big mistake. Its news, features, reporters, and columnists were so infrequently linked to that they disappeared for a year!
...............
I keep thinking of the last buggy whip maker.

saulgoode said...

Reuters appears to be taking the alternative approach.

"I believe in the link economy. Please feel free to link to our stories — it adds value to all producers of content. I believe you should play fair and encourage your readers to read-around to what others are producing if you use it and find it interesting.

"I don’t believe you could or should charge others for simply linking to your content. Appropriate excerpting and referencing are not only acceptable, but encouraged."

glyn moody said...

Yup: strange how his logic about paying has its limits...

glyn moody said...

@saul: thanks for that. Yes, a very hopeful sign. I know who I shall be linking to....

Crosbie Fitch said...

Don't charge people to read your words. Let them pay you to write them.

David Gerard said...

Don't forget Rupert's previous attempt to move in on the Information Superhighway: buying the Delphi online service ... just before everyone went to plain old Internet. 1

The guy knows newspapers and television better than anyone - there's a reason he's still a dictator at News International despite only owning a third of the shares, and it's because the shareholders are happy for him to dictate 'cos he gives results. But there is no evidence whatsoever he understands the Internet as anything other than a broadcast medium. 2, 3

glyn moody said...

@david: Ah, yes, Delphi - well remembered. Stunning timing indeed...