Thursday, 7 May 2009

Woman's foot run over by bus - Murdoch fights for revenue

The Guardian this morning carries a piece predicting the end of the 'free' internet as Murdoch flags up his intention to start charging for online content, including the Times and Sunday Times.

Certainly, this is a model that is proving successful for both the FT and the WSJ, now owned by Murdoch. The FT currently has around 110,000 digital subscribers paying about £150 a year each, and has defied the dire state of the rest of the dead tree press by raising the cover price of the print edition from £1 to £1.80, producing a 16% increase in circulation revenue.

Murdoch has increased the cover price of the WSJ from $1.50 to $2.00, and now charges $181 a year for both online and print versions, and this is producing results.

However, both the FT and WSJ are not volume competitors; the Times and ST are. I'm extremely doubtful that charging for online content will result in a revenue increase. So long as the BBC and some other broadsheet titles remain free online they will substitute for Murdoch's titles. And for those such as me whose first online task of the day is to whizz through all the online editions, well, I'll look further afield.

I'm aware I've been neglecting that excellent organ, the East Anglian Daily Times. Today's edition carries the following story:
Woman's foot run over by bus

Last updated: 5/6/2009 4:30:00 PM

A WOMAN has been taken to hospital for an x-ray after her foot was run over by a bus.

The 38-year-old woman was injured outside Sexton's Manor Primary School in Greene Road, Bury St Edmunds, at about 2.50pm this afternoon.

She was taken by ambulance to West Suffolk Hospital for precautionary x-rays.
Which is about as interesting as anything in the Times this morning.

1 comment:

Alfred the Ordinary said...

Murdoch has failed to learn a very simple lesson - people flock only to free information.

Where is the added value in a Times article that is also being carried by many other free on-line papers and not just in the UK? There isn't any. Some will pay for FT type info. I did for a while when my work required it.

and my local paper quotes the PM blaming Swindon council, at yesterday's PMQs, for cutting back on public services, "obeying the orders of the Conservative leadership", can you believe. His blame is being spread far and wide these days. Watch out Bury St Edmunds

Sorry, that's not as interesting as bus run over by woman, but the Advertiser's comments section makes good reading!
(For the non-locals. Swindon council is Conservative and our two MPs are Labour)