Turns out they were hardly bluffing. News Corp is still hurtling in the direction of paid access to content, and will pull out of Google in the coming months.
Sounds the war drums, Google is about to become quite a bit less useful. No small thing. If Rupert Murdoch can indeed pull off leaving Google, and demonstrate that a pay wall is possible and profitable, we will see a cascade of news organizations moving to follow suit.
Once all the news is gone from Google (and eventually Bing, Ask, etc.), we will be forced to watch the news come out in wholly different ways. Mark Cuban thinks that Twitter and Facebook are suitable substitutes for Google News for the masses. I disagree.
Google sends 100,000 clicks a minute to news organizations, but to News Corp, that means little. “The traffic which comes in from Google brings a consumer who more often than not read one article and then leaves the site. That is the least valuable of traffic to us… the economic impact is not as great as you might think. You can survive without it,” said Jonathan Miller, News Corp’s chief digital officer.
They are serious, and if they do this, they will revolutionize (probably negatively) the way the internet, and news, work. It’s hard to put a finger on just how big this really is. This changes the largest paradigm that we have had on the internet: content wants to be free.
Love it or hate it, you had best have a plan for what you are going to do when news goes paid.