Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Rupert Murdoch, News Corp, Online Advertising, the Decline of Newspapers, and the General Future of Media Encapsulated in One Pathetic Banner Ad

As newspapers continue their self-imposed march to the grave, Rupert Murdoch, who, whatever you may think of him, deserves our respect for his agressive belief in newspapers, has announced tentative plans to move begin charging for access to the vast array of international newspapers in his News Corp Empire, including the New York Post, the Australian and the Times (UK). His recently-acquired Wall Street Journal already charges for online access to its content. News Corp may also strike an exclusive deal with Microsoft's new search engine, Bing, whereby surfers would not be able to use Google or Google News to search for News Corp content.

It's a bold gamble. But it's a gamble predicated in a belief that good content is still valuable. And it's an idea better than whatever else has been proposed by other newspapers, because they haven't come up with any. Well, except for the still-in-development Google Fast Flip, which promises to replicate the actual experience of reading a newspaper i.e. turning the pages and coming across articles that you may not have read if you just scanned headlines on a news website all in a graphically-pleasing, fast-loading format. The question is if anyone even wants to read news in a traditional-manner any more. Certainly, banner ads and web-ads in general would be more effective if they were presented as part of a graphically-pleasing whole, rather than as afterthought add-ons to already clunky news pages.

Because that is the current model, and the current model is not working, as evidenced by this pathetic banner ad that accompanied my surfing of the nypost.com site this morning.
This man does not own a home. Also, sugar cubes do not turn teeth white.


cannatar said...

"The question is if anyone even wants to read news in a traditional-manner any more."

I still enjoy flipping through a newspaper every so often, but if I'm on the Internet, then I want to read in a way that takes advantage of the Internet, not in a way that mimics a newspaper. Last year, the Sporting News introduced a daily online "paper" that readers could flip through. For a few days, I thought it was pretty cool because it was different, but then I realized that I was just skipping to the few topics I was interested in, and that the Internet provided much easier ways for me to get to those types of articles.

coachie said...

That's the danger tho, if we only read about what we think we're interested in, and that continues, maybe less energy is devoted to unpopular topics, like foreign news, which has already happened at most newspapers.

I find that I read far more by flipping than by scanning a paper's website.

cannatar said...

I understand the danger, I was just commenting on the specific issue of how we consume the news, not whether such consumption will have negative unintended consequences.

I'd also add that while I understand the problems related to the death of newspapers, the Internet has a lot of positives, too. With the Internet, I regularly go to a lot of different sources for information and opinions. If the net didn't exist, I'd probably just read the NYT and occasionally look at Newsweek or something.

coachie said...

Without solid revenue streams, we may well be left with just the NY Times and a few other big players reporting news and not just opining or recycling stories written by others (i.e. yahoo news).