Rupert Murdoch Interview: We Will Block Google

An interview by Australian Sky News reporter, David Speers, has shed even more light on Rupert Murdoch’s plans to move away from free content to a pay-for-content model. He now intends to possibly stick it to Google by preventing them from indexing Newscorp content.

To date the pay for content strategy has been met with mixed reviews. Mark Scott of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) was one of the first heavyweights in Australia to hit out at his plans.

Now we have further revelations from Mr Murdoch suggesting they may block Google completely.

As an example, the Wall Street Journal currently appears in Google SERPs and Google News, however when you click on a WSJ link you are taken to the page which offers a short snippet or summary of the article. If you want to continue reading you must be a paying subscriber.

If Rupert Murdoch continues with his current plans and Newscorp does block Google, by raising the “barrier to the ceiling”, stories from the WSJ or any other Newscorp publication will be blocked. . . depending on what your thoughts are of their journalism you may see it as a good thing.

So how will this play out? For two opposing view points head over to the Blog Maverick who believe Rupert Murdoch is right. On the other hand you have Andrew Shortland suggesting Rupert Murdoch will be the equivalent of “Howard Stern Without The Lesbians”.

My take, it is a very calculated move by Rupert Murdoch. . . and if it works we will see a flood of media powerhouses and businesses moving towards paid content and pay-per-use strategies. If it doesn’t he always has TV?

One final thought. It does seem Newscorp has been beaten at its own game, for the time being?

Seth Godin recently suggested how media companies, such as newspapers, built audiences and then businesses and brands rented their audiences.

In today’s online world the playing field has shifted. Google has built the platform and they are renting their audience back to the newspapers. Newscorp no longer owns the platform, they’re renting eyeballs as Seth would say. Now it seems a time has come as Mr Murdoch wants to stop renting and move back to a position of owning the platform — and build a loyal customer base in the process.

Only time will tell if Rupert Murdoch’s strategy is correct.


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