News Corp chief to charge online

2009-08-08 12:30

San Francisco - News Corporation will begin charging readers of online versions of its newspapers in the coming year in a move that Chairman Rupert Murdoch says could spur a shift away from free news content on the internet.

Murdoch broke the news after the global media giant reported that it ended its business year with a net loss of $3.4bn due to hefty charges of $9.2bn.

The sprawling US media empire had posted a net profit of $5.4bn a year earlier.

"We have a lot to do and we have to face the challenges of free-to-web television and digital newspapers," Murdoch said during a conference call with analysts and reporters.

"We are very hopeful that we can produce significant revenues from the sale of digital delivery of newspapers."

Murdoch acknowledged that there is nothing to stop online readers from switching to websites where stories are accessible for free, but the chief executive said he believes the competition will follow his company's lead.

"We just have to make our content better and differentiate it from other people," Murdoch said. "I believe if we are successful we will be followed by other media."

The number of website hits triggered by celebrity scoops posted online by News Corp is "astronomical," said Murdoch, who added he thinks people will be "happy" to pay for such stories.

Online income for newspapers has failed to offset plunges in revenue from advertising in print publications, pressuring the industry to break from the free-story model that has been the Internet norm.

News Corp already charges for its Wall Street Journal website and claims it is the most successful paid news site on the internet.

The Wall Street Journal is sold as digital content for's Kindle electronic readers, but News Corp says it is irked that Amazon doesn't share the identities of subscribers.

"Kindle treats them as their subscribers not as ours, and I think that will eventually cause a break between us," Murdoch said.

News Corp is not likely to make an electronic reader that people could use to read digital newspapers because "we are not in the hardware business," Murdoch said.

But News Corp executives have revealed they are in talks with Sony, which makes e-readers that compete with Kindle devices.

Sony is on board with the notion that News Corp should know who is subscribing to digital versions of the Journal, according to Murdoch.

Read more on:    rupert murdoch  |  internet

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Get fit on a budget

It’s time to throw the “I can’t afford to exercise” excuse out the window.


Where were you when you last felt alive?

Tips for paddling your first Dusi
Climbing the world’s largest stone arch
Awesome extreme sports people
Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


You may be in the mood to philosophize and socialize and expand your mind on various discussions and group activities. You more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.