Monday 12/3/12 open slaaaaash twitter thread

What’s happening?

As referred to last month, the Herald Sun has gone behind a paywall starting today.

Well, almost. At the moment they’re just asking you to register. Later? About $150 a year.

Hey, I can see where they’re coming from, but $150 for that, $150 for the Australian etc. etc. when we’ve all become used to reading potentially dozens of online news sources every day…

A blogger like yours truly, and I suspect many others, would potentially have to pay multiple thousands every year.

I’m not in the industry but I still don’t understand why online papers never made/make enough serious coin through advertising like free-to-air TV does.

I know there’s adBlock software but surely there are still ways?

Heck, I’d even seriously consider paying for online news like I pay for cable TV; a few hundred bucks a year but something like 200 channels e.g. all Murdoch’s news sites under the one umbrella.

And sure, I’m used to getting online news for free and don’t want to change.

With Andrew Bolt soon to be behind a paywall, what’s the bet PM Julia Gillard woke up with a smile this morning?

Unfortunately for the Herald Sun, a former Queenslander living in Korea doesn’t have much use for a Melbourne rag.

Bolta’s great, but all good things come to an end.

Hmm, we’ll see what happens. Will it be time soon to find another hobby? Finally get that X-box?

And what for blogging in general, especially the big sites like the Drudge Report?

An oldy…

  1. Hi,
    At the moment it seems it is mainly his columns that you need a subscription for, this of course may change in time. I totally agree with you, one price for all the Murdoch press would be ideal, even if they just put the Aussies papers under one subscription I would be happy with that.

    • From Bolta’s page.

      “Common suggestion: why not bundle all News Ltd publications, including the excellent Australian, into one subscription package? (Agreed.)”

      • Seems a few people may have had the same thought, it is a much better idea, than having to have subscriptions all over the place, with different passwords I assume.

    • One commenter there made the point that compared to the newspapers of old, most of the distribution costs are paid by us already; the PC and/or smartphone, internet connections, no actual paper involved etc.

      With the internet being what it is, I also wonder how much coin could be saved if journalists worked from home, if newspapers switched (if actually possible) to virtual offices.

      After all, they all have smartfones and tablet PCs, newswires can be sent directly to devices, video conferencing and text messaging can be done for free using services such as Skype and Kakao…

      • Very good point. I agree.

    • Sean of Deer Park
    • March 12th, 2012

    Love your “Death Notice”. 😆

    Great times ahead here in Melbourne; not. No MTR, no access to like minded opinions (unless you pay for them), and the threat of a Media Gestapo to close down open thought and opinion anyway. This is all bad and plays right into the hands of Gillard and her friends. Indeed, Julia will be very happy this morning, BB.

    I thought about putting my $2.95 worth of comment on Bolta’s; but since I have been blacklisted from the comments section, what’s the point? I might send my comment by email to Bolta, at least he responds to those. Why would I want to pay for a site I am not allowed to interact with anyway?

    This is part of my reasoning to buy shares in “The Age”. My hope is the paper will go back to providing all points of view (ie. Rinehart will help to balance the News content). The Age may pick up some new readership from disgruntled ex-NewsLimted readers. Mind you, Rinehart could be making a play to bankrupt the Fairfax empire to force a fire-sale for a bit of a tax right-off, in which case… 😆 (*dusts off the x-box*)

    Seriously, BingBing. It is very possible blogs like yours are about to have a growth spurt, as people congregate in other areas to have their say without having to pay subscriptions to share their own opinion. Well, so long as the Fink’s report does not become the law and One’s blog is in Australia. Perhaps it’s time you put together a nice little story with a list of Blogs people can go to and start advertising the fact you exist (eg. BingBings, Catallaxy, Bunyipitude etc…)

    Share your opinion for them to share their opinions (use Tizona’s? Twitter, Pingbacks, Facebook, etc…) The added bonus, while the media is being censored in various ways here in Australia, you are os with a server in Texas. A handy advantage to have in allowing people to say what they think. I’m sure “Spot the Dog” would be happy to help you out and spread the word.

    • I might send my comment by email to Bolta, at least he responds to those. Why would I want to pay for a site I am not allowed to interact with anyway?

      Cripes. You almost have to laugh at that one.

      Others have pointed out that if they’re paying for the privilage of helping Bolta’s career along, then at least the Hun could update comments more frequently.

      As for traffic, hope you’re right, Sean, and that as a result a bit more comes this way.

      Unrelated: when I checked comments on another computer before, they were all in CAPS. That was using internet explorer. Back on a firefox browser, the comments are fine. If you’re reading this in CAPS, it wasn’t me.

      • Sean of Deer Park
      • March 12th, 2012

      The CAPS thingy… must be a local PC problem. Mines all good.

    • Puzzled
    • March 12th, 2012

    I don’t think this has been well thought through. They need to bundle the News banners into a single price. I think the bigger issue is going to be that people will pay to read opinions, comments that are similar to their own and eventually everyone will just be preaching to the converted and (in the current moderation regime) be doing it in slow motion. What is the point?

    If I were Bolt, Blair, Ackerman et al.. I’d be seriously considering working only as a columnist for News and taking my blog outside. Of course .. there is the consideration of legal fees etc.

    • Yeah, but that photoshop hatchet job on the original “Ashes” notice from that English newspaper in the day is dated Ausgust 2009 when I think it was the Times that went behind a paywall.

      So they’ve had plenty of time to think things through.

      As for your second point, that does tend to happen anyway. Not saying it’s a good thing, just sayin’.

      And yes, those legal fees, although Bolta et. al. might be a bit safer. Now that mighn’t be people’s first thoughts, but when the litigious don’t have the deep pockets backing those types up, then a lot of incentive is lost for taking action.

        • Puzzled
        • March 12th, 2012

        It will be interesting to see how they manage their advertisers. Presumably advertisers will now be more interested in how many paying customers each paper has. Will that push the price up or down? Just “hits” isn’t going to cut it if those hits just go away because of the pay-wall.
        Generally, once you’ve provided something for free for a while you have to add some real bells and whistles for people to accept paying for it – many will just bail out feeling a bit like it’s extortion.

        I don’t know what the right answer is, but I only buy a paper (physical) when I want to read it. The subscription model asks me to pay for the right to read it. Not that I like pay per view either.

        • I only buy a paper (physical) when I want to read it. The subscription model asks me to pay for the right to read it. Not that I like pay per view either.

          Too true. I barely read a thing on the weekends.

          I dunno. How can, for example, AM radio be supported soley by ads, and yet top hosts can be paid millions?

          Why are ads everywhere else 50,000 bucks a pop, yet online essentially nothing unless we click?

          Sure, online subscription will be less per day than a physical newspaper, but think of their cost savings. Will online subscribers be subsidising the old format?

          How can facebook manage to monetize its free service to the tune of $84 billion (well, we know how), and yet newspapers can’t?

          If Andrew Bolt took his blog private, and demanded a $1/year subscription fee, I bet he’d still make a killing.

            • J.M. Heinrichs
            • March 13th, 2012

            Facebook is **Apparently** valued at $50+ bIllion, based on putative investor wishes. Until it is traded for at least a month will the be a valid valuation.
            The company does claim to make some money:


            • The google search yesterday directed me to a site, fairly recent, that claimed 84. And yes, there is stuff you can pay for such as extra stuff in the games on offer, however FB’s essential service is free.

    • mabba
    • March 12th, 2012

    It’s pretty devastating. As are the latest Qld election debacles. Don’t like living in ‘interesting times’!

    • They’ve always been interesting. It’s just that before you had one newspaper to get the news and opinion from and now we have dozens, hundreds even, plus blogs. That means so much more news and opinion flying about the place.

      Remember when reader comments was but a few hand-picked letters to the editor? How times have changed and I’m not convinced the Murdoch press is adapting so well.

  2. Possibly News Ltd driving readers away. I installed the Adam Carolla app on my android. It’s free. His daily podcasts can be listened to for free.

    And that bloke still makes good coin with books, appearance fees, and likely a few other creative solutions.

    Folks like Bolta and Blair may do well to go it alone.

      • Sean of Deer Park
      • March 12th, 2012

      I must admit, not being able to read Blair when the Tele hides behind a wall is going to hurt.

      It’s like the fun police are knocking at the door. 😦

      • And with the media inquiry, what a helluva time to do it.

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