Commentators have queued up to tell Rupert Murdoch that his plan to
charge for online content is wrong. But I think it's obvious that he
Murdoch's got the will to charge, access to value-add content, and has
a lot of experience selling subscription products in the UK. The question is not whether he can charge - it's whether his competitors can match his content and experience.
Hot on the heels of its new mobile website, The Independent has released an iPhone news app this week.
The Independent iPhone app is a departure from some other newspaper apps, as it is designed to allows readers to download all the articles while they have a decent 3G or wi-fi connection, and saves them for reading while offline.
By all appearances, the question isn't whether the New York Times will revisit paid subscriptions. The question is what those subscriptions will look like.
Last week, Gawker published documents purporting to detail two possible online subscription packages the newspaper company is mulling over, New York Times Silver and Gold.
JD Lasica is the founder of Socialmedia.biz, a social marketing consultancy, and Socialbrite.org, a learning hub for nonprofits. JD was an editor at a California newspaper before he became involved with digital media in the late 90s. He now speaks regularly about social media and user-generated media.
JD recently participated in the Traveling Geeks roundtables hosted by Econsultancy and I spoke with him about social media, the impact it's having and the fate of mainstream media.
Newspaper publishers want the best of both worlds. They want the traffic that Google can deliver, but also think that the search engine owes them something. Specifically: “A fair share of the revenues being generated through the commercial exploitation of our content”.
Well, newsflash: Google owes the newspapers nothing. And now it has openly told the newspapers how to block web pages from the search engines by using the robots.txt no-inclusion protocol. If they want to, that is. There’s a barrier for those who want it. Now put up, or shut up.
Of course this isn’t new to anybody, but Google’s stance, as paidContent puts it, “effectively raises a middle finger to the 169 signatories to the Hamburg Declaration on Intellectual Property Rights, including Dow Jones managing editor Robert Thomson and News Corp Europe CEO James Murdoch”.
It’s going to be interesting to see if even one of those 169 signatories, or any other major newspaper, is actually brave, dumb and ballsy enough to take Google up on its offer. What’s the betting? I’ll wager that not one of them will go ahead with this.
It already has an excellent mobile version of its website, but FT.com is looking to improve on this offering with an iPhone app, released today.
The FT Mobile app is free to download and supported by advertising, though it does carry the same restrictions as the main site, allowing users to read 10 articles per month before having to cough up for a subscription.
Americans and the British are quite similar, but also quite different. Jokes that make Americans laugh may not make a British person laugh; food that a Brit might love could repulse an American; and so on. It seems the way the two nations consume news online is different, too.
The Independent launched a new mobile website last week. According to the newspaper, the site aims to offer a 'faster, simplified version of its news for users on the move'
A number of newspapers, including The Guardian and FT.com, have launched or revamped their mobile sites this year, so how does the Indie's offering compare?
Amongst many digital marketers, it's common knowledge that search is one of the most effective advertising mediums known to man. Television? A waste of money. Newspapers? Puhleeze; most of them won't be around much longer.
But according to a poll conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of AdWeek, adults in the United States find television and newspaper ads to be more 'helpful' than search ads when it comes to making purchasing decisions.
Since the floor has fallen out of print circulations at many newspapers, editors are paying greater attention to the layout of their web sites. What they're finding isn't pretty.
For years if a newspaper had a website, it most likely served as a digital dumping ground for the print product. Design and
functionality wasn't a key concern because most readers still got their
news in print. Times have changed, but unfortunately many newspapers