The controversial chairman of News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch, has made plans to announce a pay subscription model for his publications to be viewed on the iPad and other such devices. The plan is expected to include the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and the New York Times and will expand into News Corp.’s entertainment properties.
All I have to say is: Good for Rupert Murdoch. News Corp lost 5 billion dollars last year. You could say he’s only doing this because he’s old and the pay subscription model is the only thing he understands, but really it’s either this or shutter the newspapers entirely. That move would certainly cause more shareholders to flee, further reducing News Corp.’s share price, causing him to shut down more divisions, and on it goes until the company implodes. It’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t kind of situation.
It’s going to be interesting to see if this works. Subscription based services have failed in the past, but that was at a time before you had online payment methods like paypal and 1-click. Today, millions are being made through subscription-based web software, a situation unthinkable in the last decade. It’ll also be a true test of where political opinion lies in the world today. There was a time when companies like News Corp. could hide their inviability through cheap debt. Now thanks to the recession, we are actually going to see if people are willing to pay money to keep the conservative echo chamber alive.