Murdoch makes Career Crumbling Decision - Pulls Content from Google -
Rupert Murdoch, who’s net worth is 4 billion and is known for his life-long history of making money in media, runs News Corp which boasts these publications: the Journal, the New York Post and The Times of London. Early this week, Murdoch threatened to remove his paper’s content from Google, taking the position that Google, and other search engines, are enjoying a free ride off his content. He believes people should have to pay a subscription to access his papers’ information; a bold statement that goes against the entire movement of the internet.
Things are changing in journalism – can’t you see that Mr. Murdoch? There is a major shift in how we (society) gather our information. While there doesn’t appear to be any hard statistics on the percentage of people reading newspapers online*, internet usage is sitting at close to 75% for North Americans. There’s no doubt that people are turning to search engines to gather information on current events. How many of us use one of the major search engines as our home page or have search on our browser toolbar?
Because people have so widely accepted search engines as means to find information, I would argue that by pulling Newscorp information off google, they’ll be opening the door for smaller players to provide that information. When you type in your search terms, you don’t care who provides the information, as long as you can get the content you’re looking for. Sure there is the ongoing debate about quality of content which displayed, but once again, we are becoming more savvy about this as readers. With publicly moderated voting systems (such as on eBay) people can quickly flag bad or unreliable content. So will Murdoch’s decision merely seal his own casket? He will be giving up millions of dollars in ad revenue (currently order Baclofen online 25% of the Wall Street Journal’s online traffic comes from Google) and simply giving this money away to other players. Does he really think he can make it up with subscribers? Maybe, but it’s a long shot that depends on his paper’s ability to demand incredible customer loyalty. He will have to build his readership on reputation and unique content. Which leads into my next point.
Online journalism now includes a new type of reporter – The blogger. It also includes the birth of crowd-sourced information from wikipedia, twitters feeds, etc. These new channels reflect a shift in how we receive information. The masses are contributing to and creating their own news, a truly democratic news feed by people who don’t care about the dollars generated from the story. They care about the content and they’ll go cheap Colchicine after the story in an effort to seek out truth and then post it online for free. I recognize that this shift is still in it’s infancy, but it’s still coming. The media moguls need to be aware of it and work with the change instead of against it.
Now I’m not saying that Murdoch is dumb. He must be smart or he wouldn’t be as successful as he is. However, I’m definitely questioning his logic on this key decision. I’m baffled how a man, who has access to so many resources and I’m assuming an abundant amount of web savvy advisers, isn’t recognizing this major shift in journalism. Dare I be cheeky and chalk it up to losing his scruples at his ripe age of 78? or to being a dinosaur that’s too confident to recognize our world has entered into an era led by Generation Y/Millennials?
I invite comments from my readers as I’m incredibly interested Gastrointestinal in better understanding the flip side of this argument.
*Found this clever little blog post from a guy at Harvard who estimates only 3% of newspaper readership is online.