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.