Paid Content Game

August 18, 2010

The game has changed. A move, bold as always, by Mr. Murdoch. He did it again.

Mr. Murdoch is a businessman and his business is News. His empire is global and includes all types of media, old and new. In the recession he felt the departure of advertisers and over time he reached a simple conclusion: News can not be free. That is to say, no company producing News can function properly without the green stuff.

Murdoch was ridiculed about putting up paywalls. The entire webcommunity condemned such behaviour. But who cared? News is free on the web and we’ll find it somewhere else, right?


Insiders knew something else was going on. A new combination in the make.

Let the games begin!

Perfect storm

August 6, 2010

A lot happened while I was camping. And I went for just 1 week.

Advertising is up again. Spiegel and Murdoch reported huge gains. Gains compared to what? Last year?  The Big Question still is whether or not the decline has become more structural or still is, as it used to be, cyclical. Advertisers are in my view moving away from print and they will not return. Once the herd is on the move, it’s hard to stop it or make it turn around.

GOOG made several swift moves. Wave turned out to be a ripple. All books have been counted. The cloud bookstore is definitively in the make. Rumors are a tablet is on the way.

Mr. Murdoch is very happy. The Times has lost an enormous amount of web readers, but since they did not pay a single penny Mr. Murdoch did not mind. On the contrary, people will still need News and people are moving to tablets. Let’s charge them at the entrance.

The first experiments with original content on the iPad were not that original. Cars built like horse carriages. One however stood out as a very original combination of social media & push.

Anyway: this storm is gathering momentum rapidly. The way out for publishers is to concentrate on their core business: content. New forms of content. Interesting content. Amazing content. And that will be a perfect storm.