Murdoch Posts Big Fat Profits

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation announced quarterly profits of $254 million today. It’s a sure sign that, as the industry leader plans to make readers pay for the online content of all its newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal and the Times of London, more and more newspapers will try to emulate News Corp.’s success. That means, at least in part, putting online content behind a paywall. In other words, the sun may be setting on the era of free online news.

I commented earlier on Alan Rusbridger’s speech in which, as editor-in-chief, he defended his decision to keep all online content at The Guardian free. His two primary reasons were that putting content behind a paywall would curtail advertising revenue steeply and that the spirit of the Internet is more Open than Closed, thus charging for online content would dare to contradict the Zeitgeist.


And though Murdoch said he neither listened to nor read Rusbridger’s speech, he was ready to call his pledge to preserve free online content “BS”. To be sure, Murdoch is blowing smoke. Rusbridger was the first to admit that if paywalls prove successful then The Guardian wouldn’t and couldn’t hold out forever.

While most of News Corp.’s revenue comes from TV (FOX) and film (Twentieth Century Fox), Editor’s Web Blog reports that 29% of their newly reported revenue comes from its newspapers, of which The Sun has been the most successful at increasing its profit margin.

News Corp. is also reportedly in negotiations with Apple’s iPad and Amazon’s Kindle to establish a subscription service for its papers allowing owners of the devices to access News Corp.’s newspapers anytime, anywhere, for a fee.

While the New York Times is slowly building its own paywall system, some smaller papers are looking for outside help to monetize their online content. Today’s New York Times reports that new software called Press + will help newspapers sell their online content to their readers.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less