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Summary:

Murdoch’s love for newspapers is undying, nevermind the near-death throes of the medium itself, and he reads it out (literally, on the radio…

imageMurdoch’s love for newspapers is undying, nevermind the near-death throes of the medium itself, and he reads it out (literally, on the radio) as part of a series of Australian radio lectures titled, “The future of newspapers: moving beyond dead trees.” Compare and contrast this to his famous speech on April 13, 2005, to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, which shook up the newspaper industry with its predictions about the digital future of newspapers. And this was before he bought MySpace (three months later) and Dow Jones (NYSE: NWS), in 2007.

As he said in the ASNE lecture then, he remains an optimist: “Unlike the doom and gloomers, I believe that newspapers will reach new heights….we are moving from news papers to news brands. For all of my working life, I have believed that there is a social and commercial value in delivering accurate news and information in a cheap and timely way. In this coming century, the form of delivery may change, but the potential audience for our content will multiply many times over.” And then he goes on about his favorite topic: “Complacency and condescension that festers at the heart of some newsrooms.” Much has been said about that, especially as Murdoch is now on his way to remaking the Journal newsroom.

More after the jump

Besides that, an interesting bit about WSJ.com: “One way we are planning to take advantage of online opportunities is by offering three tiers of content. The first will be the news that we put online for free. The second will be available for those who subscribe to wsj.com. And the third will be a premium service, designed to give its customers the ability to customize high-end financial news and analysis from around the world.” The last part is what may be a new tier in the works, though Murdoch has talked previously in generic terms about increasing rates for WSJ.com subscription service and adding more content/services to it. One thought: it could be that the third tier will add content from other DJ brands like Barrons’, Dow Jones’ enterprise group brands like Factiva, Venturewire and others, and even bundle business/financial news from News Corp.’s international brands like Times UK, The Australian, and other TV news outfits worldwide. More as we find out….

Meanwhile, WSJ is doing some changes to the print: several data tables, including stock lists, will be reduced in length and appear more-fully on WSJ.com.

  1. This would be an interesting move by the WSJ. The point that Rupert misses is that all content consumers are also content creators.
    We will be launching a service soon that will allow members to receive real time 24 hour subscription news/content. The platform will allow media companies and specialist to leverage their content and membership base to earn revenues per update

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  2. In theory it is a brilliant idea given FInancial Information Services is a $33BN market place and he has the data & assets to add the class of service. History doesnt bode as well to force people through the funnel into super-premium products — 1) Factiva's management team thinks in single's & doubles. They can't think big so he'll need new management; 2) Didn't Dow Jones have a major loss on a terminal product that they had to right off?; 3) Bloomberg will defend aggressively and has the "A" team to do it as well as the assets & sticky products; and 4) Market Conditions don't bode well for yet another expensive service to layer into the "information" budget.

    All that said if anyone can do it, Rupert could, if focused. Reuters, S&P, and Yahoo Finance should be worried…he is eating up their opportunities.

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  3. Premium content is key to the future of media. After all, despite the possibilities offered by the Internet, newspapers have continued to serve the same, economy-class content even for their business class readers. Innovative premium content will be an important, phase-II part of the business model here at GlobalPost (the international news outlet to launch in January with a network of 70 correspondents around the world).

    David Case, editor, premium content

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