News Corp Planning to Charge for News Web Sites

dell takes a slice at apple with super thin latitude z dellz closed

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp released its financial numbers for its fourth fiscal quarter of 2009 (PDF), and the results weren’t great: the company reported profits down 8 percent in 2009 compared to 2008, and Murdoch characterized the year 2009 as “the most difficult in recent history.” And what’s News Corp’s plan to stop the hemorrhaging? The company plans to lock most of its news content behind so-called “paywalls” so that only paid subscribers may access its content.

The model follows News Corp’s system for the recently-acquired Wall Street Journal, which (aside from brief promotional periods) only lets the full content of premium articles—mostly financial and business news—be accessed by paid subscribers. The model is generally viewed as one of the most successful paywalls in the industry, due to the clout of the Wall Street Journal’s content and the creditability it carries with its readers. News Corp hopes to successfully extend the practice to a number of newspapers it owns throughout the world, potentially including The New York Post and the UK papers The Times and News of the World.

Murdoch also indicated News Corp plans to initiate aggressive procedures to protect its copyrighted content from unauthorized distribution. The move mirrors recent actions by the Associated Press, which has begun using software-based monitoring systems to detect when unauthorized versions of its copyrighted material appear on the Internet.

The move is risky: aside from the Wall Street Journal, paywalls have historically been unsuccessful, with outlets like Slate and even the New York Times failing to generate significant revenue by locking away their content only to paid subscribers. There’s no real indication everyday consumers are suddenly willing to pay for newspaper content they’re used to receiving for free via the Internet.

It’s also not clear whether Murdoch intends to block search engines like Google from indexing its content: currently, material behind the Wall Street Journal paywall is relatively accessible via search engines, and the WSJ permits the practice in order to generate traffic and (in theory) attract new subscribers.

Murdoch’s move comes as newspapers struggle to create new revenue streams and stay afloat in the Internet age. Many papers have attempted to make up deficits from declining subscriptions and print advertising revenue via online advertising, but so far the efforts have fallen short.

Emerging Tech

A.I.-generated text is supercharging fake news. This is how we fight back

A new A.I. tool is reportedly able to spot passages of text written by algorithm. Here's why similar systems might prove essential in a world of fake news created by smart machines.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: Aliens, Avengers: Endgame, Charlie Says, and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's new trailers for Avengers: Endgame, Aladdin, Charlie Says, Doom: Annihilation, and more.
Movies & TV

Best new podcasts

Feel like you’re drowning in podcasts? In this weekly series we’ll help you pick out the best from the rest of the new and returning shows. This week’s picks include a culture clash and a death sentence.
Wearables

You will never need to charge a smartwatch again, if new EU project succeeds

A new EU research project has launched into finding a new way of powering wearable devices, with the intention of using an energy harvesting system to ensure we never have to charge one up ever again.
Smart Home

Thermomix introduces a small appliance that can do it all

The Thermomix TM6 just might be what you're looking for. This all-in-one appliance can perform 20 unique tasks that will cut down on the work of meal preparation and will help you cook just about anything.
Smart Home

Amazon knocks down the price on the second-generation Echo smart speaker

Amazon just knocked down the price of the second-generation Echo smart speaker with Alexa by 25 percent. The Echo can answer questions, control smart home devices, fill a room with music with its Dolby speakers, and make hands-free calls.
Smart Home

Whatever happened to those dumb smart products we wrote about in 2017?

A smart salt dispenser? As manufacturers rush to get the next new smart item out there, we wonder if all these new inventions are really necessary. Here’s a list of 10 of the quirkiest home smart gadgets available, and where they are now.
Smart Home

Smeg Dolce and Gabbana small appliances make an art gallery of your kitchen

Spice up your kitchen with Smeg's Dolce and Gabbana-styled Sicily Is My Love collection. Following its introduction of Sicilian-themed major appliances, the Italian collaborators added countertop devices with traditional icons and images.
Smart Home

Sign up for Amazon’s Prime Book Box and get an Echo Dot Kids Edition for $1

Do your kids like books? Sign up for Amazon's Prime Book Box for kids through March 26 and you can get an Echo Dot Kids Edition for just $0.99. The Prime Book Box includes two to four books, delivered every one, two, or three months.
Smart Home

Ikea isn’t throwing shade with the delayed release of its smart blinds

Ikea planned to release is Tradfri-compatible smart blinds in April 2019, but the products have been delayed until later in the year for a firmware update that promises better functionality.
Smart Home

Lutron’s Fan Control makes ceiling fans smart, but has some turnoffs

Lutron recently came out with a smart switch that controls ceiling fans, the Lutron Caseta Fan Speed Control Switch. How does it stack up? Here's a first-hand review of the Lutron Fan Control switch.
Cars

Amazon and Kia team up to simplify EV home-charging station installs

Kia Motors announced a new program with Amazon for electric vehicles. Customers planning to purchase a new Kia EV or PHEV can check out recommended Level 2 240-volt home charging stations and arrange installation in their homes.
Smart Home

Traeger’s latest wood-pellet grills are smoky, smart, and spacious

Traeger is famous in the world of barbecue and heavy-duty grills for its signature pellet grills and now the company is expanding this year by adding three new brands of redesigned
Smart Home

The five best teeth-whitening kits you can buy on Amazon

Teeth whitening can have a major impact on a person’s smile and overall appearance. You don't necessarily have to go to the dentist to get your teeth whitened though. Here are the best teeth-whitening kits you can buy.