November 24, 2009

Saving Content? At What Cost? [7:38 am]

While it’s easy to understand what Murdoch is trying to do, it’s really difficult to see that it’s going to be a win-win. What *is* the price elasticity of demand for content? For news? I can easily imagine that this actually makes online news content less valuable — if you can’t find it through Google, it may simply be time to turn on the radio/TV instead. After all, *reading* news has never been the preferred avenue; it’s just become the most timely for many. Take it off Google, put it behind a pay-wall, and it loses timeliness — because it’s hard to imagine that it won’t eventually get online, just not in a timely fashion.

News Corp. Weighs an Exclusive Alliance With Bing - NYTimes.com

Microsoft has been in early discussions with the News Corporation, the media conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch, about a pact to pay the News Corporation to remove links to its news content from Google’s search engine and display them exclusively on Bing, from Microsoft, according to a person briefed on the matter who spoke anonymously because of the confidential negotiations.

If such an arrangement came to pass, it would be a watershed moment in the history of the Internet, and set off a fierce debate over the future of content online.

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