free html hit counter Hey Mr. Murdoch: It Doesn't Have to Be Black and White | John Battelle's Search Blog

Hey Mr. Murdoch: It Doesn't Have to Be Black and White

By - November 09, 2009

Sheesh. Just give Google summary text and headlines to index (like the WSJ does now). Then do your best to convert would be readers to your paid model. That’s it. What’s the big deal?

The rest is bluster.

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  • Laurent

    I suspect the real reason of Murdoch’s animosity towards search engines is that he hates the news aggregating model because it dilutes the News Corp brand.

    When you buy a paper version of, say, the Wall St Journal, the reader is a captive audience. The WSJ editors decide what articles go on the front page.

    But when people are reading newspapers through Google News it’s Google who has control over the front page – not News Corp. To make things worse, the News Corp publications are all of a sudden drowned under thousands of competing publications. Readers don’t look by brand anymore but by topic (news aggregators are really geared towards news items and not investigative/exclusive articles or editorials)

    Murdoch is railing against “thieves” like Google, Microsoft or Ask.com but does not tell them to stop “stealing” News Corp content. WSJ has paid-only content, but is available for free through Google News. The only reason I can think of is because, as much as Murdoch would like to change things (get a monthly royalty check from Google, have his publication’s articles have more visibility on Google News, kill news aggregators altogether), News Corp cannot ditch search engines because you don’t exist on the Web if you’re not listed.

  • http://ralphhaygood.org Ralph Haygood

    As you’ll appreciate if you’ve ever seen Fox “News”, Rupert Murdoch is an advanced practitioner of foolish bluster.

    I do hope he makes good on this threat. It would badly damage his business.

  • http://www.findingsalesadvantage.com Craig

    There must be a master plan behind all this, you don’t get to where Rupert Murdock’s managed to get without thinking things through a bit. It will certainly change the current model if he gets his way, which is always bound to wind up critics. It’ll be very interesting to follow developments.

  • Moe Glitz

    Apart from only receiving future Online News Corp Articles as a Pay Per View Business Model, News Corp may also be in discussion with Apple to provide an Exclusive News Corp Media App that could be one of the killer apps for Apple’s future iPlate.

    This exclusive News Corp App could work along the same lines as a Harry Potter interactive newspaper, bringing in Live Web Content from all sides of the News Corp Media Empire, including Fox News, Sky News, Sky Sports, Wall Street Journal, The Times, The Sun, 20th Century Fox and so on.

    As a Pay Monthly Subscription News Corp Media App, Rupert Murdoch could generate huge revenues across the right online platforms, including the iphone.
    But to truly make his online Media Content exclusive, he will opt out of Google News, to be followed by Time Warner.

    Rupert Murdoch is a smart fox that hates anyone getting a free lunch at his expense.

  • http://lightbulbinteractive.blogspot.com Dave Culbertson

    A spot-on observation, John, that Slate seems to have also made in a much longer article than yours. :-)

    http://www.slate.com/id/2235055/

  • http://www.infogrok.com Rob

    Whilst i agree with what he was saying about the BBC, etc… I really dont understand his posturing and logic with Google News, search and aggregators.