ABC24: Can newspapers successfully charge for online content?


My thoughts on newspaper content paywalls were recently featured in an interview on ABC24.

The segment begins with an overview of newspapers’ plans to charge for online content, including quotes from Rupert Murdoch and industry commentators, and is followed by an interview with me.

My comments in the interview include:

* There are better chances of charging for online news working for Australia, given the unusual concentration of media ownership.

* Of the various models of charging for online content, Australian newspapers are most likely to provide some content for free and a subscription for full access.

* While we cannot know whether the ‘grand experiment’ of charging for online news in 2010 will work given changing consumer attitudes, the chances are slim it will succeed.

* Some newspaper proprietors seem to hope that bundling online and iPad news with newspaper subscriptions will increase print subscriptions, though that is likely to be negligible.