Charging for online publications is looking more appealing among publishers as we see News Corporation, and The New York Times Company leaning towards the idea of putting up pay walls either for part or all of their websites.
Tough advocate for paid online content, Rupert Murdoch announced News Corp is considering charging within a year. "That it is possible to charge for content on the web is obvious from the Wall Street Journal's experience," he said in reference to growing WSJ.com subscription revenues. He said that they might start the moves in the next year.
"The current days of the internet will soon be over," said Murdoch, who a month ago was quoted saying newspapers needed to start charging online if they wanted to survive. Murdoch also stated during News Corp's third quarter earnings call in New York today that the economic crisis is going to start clearing up soon.
"There are emerging sings in some of our businesses that the days of precipitous decline are done and that revenues are beginning to look healthier," he said, leaving journalists with a boost of confidence in the future of the news industry.
Also considering how to charge online is The New York Times Company and Time Inc. "We continue to take a fresh, hard and deep look at various subscription, purchase and micropayment models," said NYT Co chairman Arthur Sulzberger. One concern is that a pay wall would compromise the great advertising revenue they have been experiencing, according to both Sulzberger and the NYTimes.com president, Scott Heekin-Canedy.
Rumors that The Guardian may charge for parts of their website started making their way across the web, however Head of Communications at The Guardian Media Group, Chris Wade, said people have misquoted CEO Carolyn McCall's comments during a Q&A session. He wrote in an email response, "guardian.co.uk is not reviewing its approach and has no plans to charge for content on any part of the site." He also added that McCall "wasn't ruling anything out in the future," but that there are no immediate plans.