The BBC has a good article about Google’s free/paid news announcement called first-click-free which enables news outlets to let Google index and show their news, but then limit the number of “free” articles you can read to five per day:
We’ve updated the program so that publishers can limit users to no more than five pages per day without registering or subscribing.
Rupert Murdoch has made clear his desire to see other papers in his worldwide stable follow the Wall Street Journal’s lead in asking readers to pay for at least some of their online journalism. And he’s also expressed, in forceful terms, his view that Google – and the BBC for that matter – are an obstacle to those plans because they provide a route to so much free news.
In my opinion, Murdoch and other news outlets have only two cards to play: Either make their news so interesting, so exclusive, so relevant and niched, personalized and so amazing that people will keel over and die if they can’t read it, or realize that, if you want to appeal to the masses, the masses don’t want to pay dollars for it… at least not in the traditional sense.
The good news is read, shared, commented, revised and rebuffed by its own readers and created into something new and interesting every single millisecond.
The uninteresting news simply never. gets. read.
This is not Google bowing to the publisher. This is Google playing its cards to ensure it has top content in its engine, and when the day comes that the big mass media players finally give in to reality that “pay for access” won’t cut it anymore, Google will already be so far out ahead nobody will be able to catch up.
Geek News Central and others agree with me.
Good luck mass media. See you in the funnies.