Thursday, July 16, 2009

Financial Times editor says most news websites will charge within a year

Building payment platforms is one of key challenges facing news organisations, says Financial Times editor Lionel Barber

Lionel BarberThe Financial Times editor, Lionel Barber, has predicted that "almost all" news organisations will be charging for online content within a year.

Barber said building online platforms that could charge readers on an article-by-article or subscription basis was one of the key challenges facing news organisations.

"How these online payment models work and how much revenue they can generate is still up in the air," Barber said in a speech at at a Media Standards Trust event at the British Academy last night.

"But I confidently predict that within the next 12 months, almost all news organisations will be charging for content."

Barber is the latest leading executive to suggest the newspaper industry has to radically overhaul its existing business model.

Rupert Murdoch said in May that he expected his News Corporation newspaper websites to start charging for access within a year. The News Corp chairman and chief executive said free newspaper websites were a "flawed" business model.

Murdoch's rival, the New York Times, could begin charging for online news within the next three to four weeks.

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