News Corp. mogul Rupert Murdoch is determined to monetize the delivery of news over the internet, and is said to have discussed forming a consortium with other major publishers to achieve that goal. According to reports, the company has been in talks with other major newspaper publishers.
According to reports, among those contacted have been Washington Post, New York Times, Hearst and Truibune, although nobody is talking on the record.
News Corp.’s success in charging for Wall Street Journal content, and desire to protect that income stream, are the underpinning of its leadership role. However, skeptics doubt that the success of WSJ can be duplicated with a mainstream newspaper.
The critical financial information provided by the Journal and competing news services is something that its most avid readers use immediately – they take the info, turn right around and try to make money with it.
Such a consortium would also face antitrust questions – the companies would have to show how banding together somehow increases competition.
RBR/TVBR observation: Most observers think the income produced by such a consortium will be in the peanuts range, and we agree – once the genie is out of the bottle, it’s not going back in. But there may be a solution.
One observer said perhaps a better plan would be to keep the content free but consolidate the readership across publications, allowing anonymous readers to be put into demographic groups which can then be made available to advertisers. They may have something there.