News Corp has also taken the bold move of only enabling stories on the homepage to be indexed by Google News. Any content behind the homepage is not indexed. Google demands that news stories indexed by Google News are available for free, and this has created back doors through the pay-walls of the WSJ and the FT. News Corp is closing this loophole, but at the cost of valuable traffic.
The probable near-term commercial future for timesonline.co.uk is that it will see a burst of interest in its paid-for product, as analysis papers just like this one drive the curious and the competitive to explore the Murdoch vision for the future of online branded news. But this is not a sustainable market. Revenues and traffic will fall early and swiftly, and News Corp is likely to have to rethink its dogmatic approach.
Sign up for MIS Asia eNewsletters.