Rupert Murdoch to Google News: I Can Has Monetization
The new application for iPad by News Corp. begs a small sector of people who own iPads to please God start paying for published news again. The app costs $40 per year (which is less than an annual subscription the Wall Street Journal).
However, The Daily app is a news source all of its own, with a more interactive approach to news. News Corp.’s last ditch effort to put the money back into news distribution is good for the industry, but can it last as more and more people turn to sites like Google News to stay up-to-date?
One of Bruce Clay’s recent predictions for the search industry is that Google will dominate the online news sector in the near future. So an app like this makes sense for the news industry to generate revenue in new ways.
But the real question is: Could the app ultimately replace the need for Google News?
Bruce Clay, Inc.’s Chris Hart (who has an extensive background in the publishing industry), had this to say:
“That News Corp. app doesn’t need to make a killing for it to be a win. It just needs to be interesting enough for other media agencies to follow suit, which will take the news distribution away from Google and put it back in the hands of the news agencies. As we know, almost all websites have had difficulties with pay-gate attempts and most have failed in the past.”
That prompted a discussion between Chris and I as he pondered how online news distribution and SEO fits into it all:
Chris Hart: If the news is only distributed through a device via a subscription, then it doesn’t need to be searched for. No need to search for it, no need to optimize it.
Jessica Lee: But Google News will always exist.
Chris Hart: Some people said newspapers will always exist. If News Corp.’s idea takes off, and news agencies no longer need the Web for eyeballs, no need for Google News.
So, the question to you, the business community, is what’s your take?
Do you think an app like The Daily will once again breathe life into the news industry and potentially make Google News obsolete? Or, do you think this idea will fizzle, allowing Google News to continue to grow as a No. 1 source for digital news? [This is me, rolling my eyes over the whole thing. Murdoch is delusional. --Susan]
Update 2/10: I found this article by Eric Schmidt in 2009, then CEO of Google, on how Google can help newspapers. Interesting read from more than a year ago.