Murdoch: iPad is ‘Game Changer’ That Will Get Youth Reading Newspapers

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By: The Associated Press

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch has been leading the charge among media executives to get customers to pay for things they are used to getting for free online, like news stories.

In June, News Corp.’s The Times and The Sunday Times threw up so-called “pay walls” that require people to sign up and pay for access to the website before being able to read past the front page.

Murdoch was asked about how the strategy was going amid reports of falling online readership. He was also asked about how Apple Inc.’s iPad tablet computer could change the online media equation.

QUESTION: I was just wondering if you could talk about the pay-for-content strategies being pursued at the U.K. newspaper business and the potential to roll it out more broadly. And as part of that discussion, how meaningful could iPad revenue be for the newspaper businesses globally?

RESPONSE: Well I think it’s very, very early days with our pay wall around The Times. We have had a very encouraging number of people subscribing at a good price. We’re not going to release those numbers to the world and break up all this at this stage. But we think we’re on the right strategy there and we think it’s going well. As for the iPad, of course there will be other indicators, there will be other people in the market very soon. But I believe that that is a game-changer altogether. We’ll have young people reading newspapers, we’ll have different-looking types of newspapers. We’ve already got a number of news sites from independent people at the moment. It’s a real game-changer in the presentation of news.

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