Global media mogul Rupert Murdoch has claimed that no online news sites in the world that are making “any serious money”.
Murdoch offered the view during an interview with Sky News, responding to a question asking if all News Corp’s existing websites are making a loss.
Murdoch had indicated that not all websites are making a loss, though failed to satisfy the question.
In criticism of the free online content model, driven itself by advertising, Murdoch told Sky News Australia:
“What’s the point of having someone come [to a News Corp website] occasionally, who like a headline they see on Google?
“Sure, we can go out and say ‘hey we’ve got so many millions of visitors, we’re better advertised’, and so on… The fact is, there’s not enough advertising in the world to go around to make all the websites profitable.”
Murdoch’s solution to the problem of inestimable levels of free content is to ask users to pay for his.
A so-called ‘pay-wall’ will eventually be introduced to “all” of News Corp websites – therefore including Fox News, IGN and The Wall Street Journal – Murdoch confirmed.
“We would rather have fewer people coming to our website, but paying,” he said, adding that his pay-walled websites will still offer each story’s opening paragraph for free.
Murdoch said that daily consumption costs will be cheaper than that of a typical News Corp newspaper.
“You’d be surprised with how much can be done so cheaply,” he said, though presumably in Murdoch’s eyes, not cheap enough to work with advertising.
Murdoch added that News Corp take its time in implementing its pay-wall strategy across all sites.
The industry veteran also claimed that, as part of the pay-wall process, all of News Corp’s websites will be removed from Google search indexes.