The chief digital offer of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp has defended the firm’s contentious decision to add a pay wall to its websites and remove itself from Google’s search.
As reported in PCR, Rupert Murdoch has insisted that the news sites he owns will shortly be removed from Google and other such search engines (pejoratively termed ‘the content kleptomaniacs’).
At the same time, News Corp wants to install paywalls across its whole family of news sites – meaning that users will need to pay a nominal fee to read websites such as The Times.
According to Jonathan Miller, News Corp's chief digital officer, these actions will be implemented within months.
And Miller told attendees during the Monaco Media Forum that the expected nosedive in traffic figures will not hurt News Corp’s business.
“The traffic which comes in from Google brings a consumer who more often than not read one article and then leaves the site,” Miller said, as quoted by The Telegraph.
“That is the least valuable of traffic to us the economic impact is not as great as you might think. You can survive without it.”
Miller added. “There is real tension surrounding the free versus pay debate. We believe that the value of high quality content is not [currently] recognised online, so something needs to happen.
“I don’t believe the media industry can continue to exist in this way.”
A paywall has already been partially installed on the website for The Wall Street Journal, with users needing to subscribe to certain stories in order to read through them