Monday, November 9, 2009

The Looming Showdown

Rupert Murdoch, the man who loves newspapers, is tinkering with the idea of preventing Google from indexing information on the servers of his leviathan media company. Murdoch believes that he can build a "pay wall" to prevent the unwashed masses from accessing his hard bought media without first paying for it. I appreciate the position that he is in; his company generates news information at a cost and they have failed to find a viable method to monetize Internet access to that information. There is no doubt that Murdoch is an extremely successful business man the problem is that the business that he knows and loves is dying out. For better or worse charging someone for news content is just not a workable solution given all the years of having that information freely available. Television and radio started stealing mindshare from newspaper a long time ago and the Internet is just the nail in the coffin.

America Online thought that they could make the "walled garden" idea of providing content a profitable business. For a while they were very successful because they had almost no competition. Once AOL users discovered the endless amounts of freely available content and services available on the Internet beyond AOL the game was up. Does News Corp. have enough compelling content to convince people to pay for it? There's an entire generation that has grown up with "free" access to media of all types via the one likes to pay for something they used to get for free.

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