This militant paid content rhetoric is spreading: spurred on by Rupert Murdoch’s repeated threats to charge online users to read his companies’ content, German newspaper and magazine business Axel Springer is right behind him.
But instead of throwing up a simple paywall, the Bild publisher wants publishers to work together to create a new search-based content economy where readers pay to read text and watch video clips.
That ambitious plan is laid out by Springer’s head of public affairs Cristoph Keese in an interview with the New York Times, who sets out the need for a “one-click marketplace” where publishers work with Google (NSDQ: GOOG) and other search engines to add a price tag to news artilcle search listings.
Keese says micropayments will work for “noncommodity journalism”, the kind of thing you can’t get anywhere else. But he uses a strange example and argues that pictures of Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi relaxing with his model friends around the pool is kind of thing people will buy: “surely,” he says, this is worth