Rupert Murdoch has an enduring devotion to newspapers and is eager to extend his key franchises from print to emerging digital formats. Mr. Murdoch has embraced Apple’s iPad tablet device for delivery of News Corporation’s Wall Street Journal and The Times of London. However, long before the iPad emerged on the scene, The Wall Street Journal was one of the only newspapers that succeeded in operating a website with mostly paid content. The Financial Times reports that News Corporation has sold 10,000 iPad subscriptions at $17.29 per month and 5,000 subscriptions to The Times of London for £9.99 per month. The one sticking point for many Wall Street Journal subscribers? Print can often be a cheaper alternative which rankles consumers who expect to share in the benefits of lower production and delivery costs. Read this article for more details.
Rupert Murdoch is bullish on prospects for organizations offering differentiated news content to charge for access to online editions. Read this article for more information and a brief video.
As investors, most of us rely heavily on professional journalists who are paid to uncover breaking stories on the economy and individual companies. In addition to reading direct sources of information on companies, access to quality journalism can often influence investment decisions. From a broader standpoint, high quality journalism is also necessary for maintenance of a free society.
The question of when “news syndication” becomes outright theft will be a defining issue of the next decade and will determine whether a viable economic model exists for professional journalism. Read this article for more details.