Earlier this week, I wrote Media Industry: The Answer is Quality. Today, Murdoch is saying essentially the same thing: “Quality journalism is not cheap and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalizing its ability to produce good reporting. … We can be platform-neutral but never free.” And Chase Carey chimed in on his first call as vice chairman and COO: “We believe customers value quality journalism. We need to get paid for our product as it shifts to the digital world.”
If the media industry doesn’t figure out how to raise the quality bar, and get consumers to pay, they are all going to go out of business.
Of course, if you read the comments, consumers universally state that they won’t pay. I think the trick will be to figure out what they WILL pay for.
Remember I talked about Bloomberg? People pay $1,800 to subscribe. Why? Because that kind of content is not possible to produce without a big staff and hence the competition from the free folks is non-existent.
That’s the model, and Murdoch and other Media industry executives will need to push the envelope on all his holdings to get to a substantially differentiated caliber of content.