May 11, 2009
More on the Death of Newsprint
Newsprint may be dying slowly, but the news is very much alive. Reports indicate that the Wall Street Journal is going to introduce micro-payments some time in the future for access to individual articles. The concept will extend to other News Corp. properties such as the New York Post, and other papers around the world. This is one way for newspapers in decline to sell access to original content. The Wall Street Journal is a unique publication, but will anyone pay a tiny fee to read about subway crime in the New York Post. There is competition for the news in New York City.
Howard Kurtz writes in the Washington Post that his newspaper is talking to Google about some form of online collaboration, so far unformulated. This news should thrill the Post's competitors and possibly the Justice Department. Ars Technica has an analysis of Google's market strength in non-search products that bring traffic to the site and attention from the DOJ. A possible deal with the Post can't but bring more attention to Google. Imagine if it involves subscriptions and some form of payment for news access. The book sales store is a good vehicle for Google allied newspapers to make money, and Google Checkout may just be a vehicle to process the payments. Couple that with the ads Google would likely place on a page, and the dollars will flow. This is pure speculation, but if any one player can alter the delivery of news to make it profitable, it could likely be Google. [MG]
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