(I double-posted the Murdoch Madness post but won’t kill this entirely because there are comments now attached….)
Jeff, You and Murdoch will be speaking at the same conference next Tuesday… Too bad that you’re not sharing the same panel!
This fight reminds me of the obsession the music industry had for far too long. Instead of coming up with new business models and adapting they sent in the lawyers. Google will have FUN fighting this; meanwhile they’ll do an end run on Microsoft for market share on OS and Office.
Question on this Jeff:
I heard somewhere (forget where) that one way to look at this, however, is that WSJ.com would be losing 25% of a non-paying audience. I realize that they’re building a business around their web presence and all and could be hit there, but is this such a bad thing for them?
Look at Apple: Whereas Microsoft and others have pursued market share in a race to the bottom, Apple has instead focused on profitability. They’re willing to take a smaller market share with higher margins and profit for the small number of folks they do cater to.
This obviously wouldn’t be something that could work for every publication that’s also got an online presence, of course, but I’d bank that there’s a core few — the WSJ being one of them — that this could work for.
Frankly, while Murdoch does look like someone whose nuts from time-to-time, I’m happy to see the WSJ pursuing options like these, just to see what the experiment looks like. Hell, remember when they chose to keep their paywall up and so many people (myself included) thought this was insane in the face of everyone lowering their walls?
Fun to watch.
Good points. There is a theoretical alternative ending to the saga though, and that is other news corps may jump on the bandwagon in an undetermined time frame. That of course would help Murdoch and would make the mosquito bite more itchy. Very unlikely I agree, but not outside the realms of possibility.
Google would lose a tiny part of its index but its brand would be damaged by that very vocal part of its index. What else doesn’t it have? Maybe a better solution would be to spin-off the index into a non-profit, that’s what GOOG’s founders originally wanted http://bit.ly/5ERCCI. The value is in the analysis not the index. GOOG’s algorithm is probably the most valuable piece of software in the world.
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I think Bing already profited by getting publicity, and News Corp already lost by making techies think they’ve got even less clue than we previously imagined. If this was Bing’s idea, kudos to their marketing team.
Good to hear your voice on some quality Aussie radio.
I have a funny feeling that Murdoch is just somehow too proud to admit he made a mistake. He’s causing all this hype about Google, blaming it on them and here and there but not himself. He’s just like a bratty little boy, refusing to admit that he screwed up but instead blamed it on his toys.
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