News corp still talking about blocking Google

By November 13, 2009News

The Telegraph reports today on a Jonathon Miller telling the Monaco Media Forum that he would block Google’s access to News Corporation’s content within months.  Then he went on to say that they wouldn’t do it unless other news businesses joined them.  I can’t see the industry wanting to co-operate to this extent, and even if they did I suspect someone new would step into the void and suck up all that Google juice for free, thereby undermining the whole operation.

The other interesting thing he said is that News Corp’s properties can get by fine without the Google traffic:

He also said that News Corporation, which owns The Times and The Sun newspapers in Britain, could survive both economically and audience-wise without the search giant driving traffic to its sites.

“The traffic which comes in from Google brings a consumer who more often than not read one article and then leaves the site. That is the least valuable of traffic to us… the economic impact [of not having content indexed by Google] is not as great as you might think. You can survive without it.”

Hmm, maybe for a while…..

Finally Miller threatened that unless they can start charging for content they will not be able to pay for things like ‘news bureaus in Kabul’.  Really?  Is that what this is about?  If the price of free content is not having a news bureau in places like Kabul I wonder what all the fuss is about.  There must be other ways to get word of what is going on there.

  • I think his comments as well as Murdochs from earlier this week should be taken in the same vein as when O'Leary from RyanAir announces all manner of outlandish and sensationalist ideas – namely – give us some exposure and let the op-ed pieces critique our plans and hopefully come up with better solutuions than we have been able to.

    Was 'sad' to see Murdoch flapping about in his extended interview this week – seemed a shadow of his former self – definately wasn't sufficiently briefed

  • In addition they may be trying to position themselves for some kind of deal with Google whereby they license and XML feed or API. I agree that this seems somehow beneath Murdoch.

  • negotiating with google will be tough – they aren't in any position to set the terms.
    (whilst minor they also have the MySpace advertising deal coming up for renewal – they're going to get spanked on that one too)

    Calacanis had a nice idea about out-flanking google with bings help – http://calacanis.com/2009/11/09/how-to-kill-goo

  • I agree – the long and short of it is that News Corps' position is weak and getting worse, both with Myspace and the news sites.

  • Google News would be improved dramatically if Murdoch's filth was gone. Google should be filtering his stuff out based on their own best interests.

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