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Jonas Martinsson - Blog

Marketing in a Web 2.0 World

Monday, November 19, 2007

Giving Away News, New Ad Model -Rupert Murdoch

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Rupert Murdoch: Just Give It Away

What would you pay to read the news?

Increasingly, the answer is nothing, but that’s okay with big media – including even the pioneer of paid news content, The Wall Street Journal.

Soon-to-be owner Rupert Murdoch told investors this week he expects to increase readership to 15 million – from 1 million – by giving away access to Journal articles online.

By ramping up the numbers, he hopes the flagship of the Dow Jones news empire would be able to command a premium for ad space connected to its business content.

"Subscriptions thrive in an area where there's scarcity — content that people can't get anywhere else," said Rafat Ali, publisher of, told The New York Times.

"Other than that, you need an advertising-based model," Ali said.

Most other major news organizations long ago gave up on charging for their work, hoping to make the difference up in ads. And, until only recently, that seemed like a distant dream.

Editor’s Note: Bernanke Punishing the Dollar. More Profits Ahead.

No more. There’s big money online now — very big.

Internet ad revenues hit $5.2 billion in the third quarter, up 25 percent over the third quarter one year earlier, according to a study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

All three quarters in 2007 set records, the IAB found. Experts estimate it will be a $20 billion-plus year.

"Marketers large and small have come to accept digital media as the fulcrum of any marketing strategy," said Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO of the IAB.

Most importantly for advertisers, an increasing number of young readers simply aren’t looking at printed content, or even at TV. They are reached online or not at all.

That’s driving the battle between Google and Microsoft to get more text ads into every corner of the Web — on social networks, cellular phones and into e-mails. Increasingly, too, advertising online is tied to action, a pay-for-play model where the cost is linked to clicking through and buying, not just seeing an advertisement.

Google, for instance, recently announced it would extend its hugely successful text ad system AdSense to mobile phone systems.

At about the same time, the search engine giant said it would also get into making its own phone, surely crammed with Google software — and plenty of a

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