London Evening Standard Shoots Murdoch Paid Content Plan In The Foot, To Be Handed Out For Free
As more and more traditional newspapers wake up to the threat posed by the new commoditized information paradigm, the generic response spearheaded by Rupert Murdoch has been to make information a premium product once again. The problem with that approach is that it implicitly takes head on instantaneous data dissemination and distribution platforms like Google and Twitter. Whether this is a fight that is sustainable is very much open to debate. One person who does not think so is Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev who is taking a diametrically opposite route, and plans on cutting the price of his London Evening Standard newspaper to zero, coupled with an increase in circulation from 250,000 to 600,000.
Lebedev believes he can break even with the news approach in 12-18 months. What the response to this information "dumping" will be by the bigger and core players should be quite interesting. What will be troubling to them is if more MSM platforms follow in Lebedev's footsteps. Information, like money, has proven quite capable of following the "path of least resistance" and any attempts to gate it traditionally face rather dire consequences.