de.tech.ting

What do user-generated porn sites and Rupert Murdoch have in common?

Posted by andreaitis on August 6, 2009

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Free-to-fee.

Repeat three times and click your heels:  Free-to-fee.  Free-to-fee.  Free-to-fee.  

That’s what user-generated porn sites and Rupert Murdoch have in common.  They both want to start charging for content that up to now has been free to consumers online.  Murdoch made a bold declaration yesterday, emphatically stating that he would start charging users to access all of his news websites by the end of next summer.

Can’t be any clearer:
1. Charging for ALL of his news websites
2. By end of next summer

Stung by a collapse in advertising revenue as the recession shredded Fleet Street’s traditional business model, Murdoch declared that the era of a free-for-all in online news was over.

“Quality journalism is not cheap,” said Murdoch. “The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive distribution channels but it has not made content free. We intend to charge for all our news websites.”

Rupert Murdoch plans charge for all news websites by next summer | Media | The Guardian

Turns out the user-generated porn industry is struggling with the exact same issue.   Traffic is high.  Revenues are low.  Content is free. Long-term viability is in question.   Perhaps it’s not much of a surprise that they’re reaching the same conclusion.

“Tube sites”–adult content Web sites that mimic YouTube in hosting everything from professionally made videos to user-generated clips–have quickly risen in popularity since they came onto the scene a few years ago, and rank among the highest traffic-getters globally. Some, like Youporn and Pornhub, attract more views than the Web sites of The New York Times or Apple ( AAPL – news – people ). But like YouTube and other video-sharing sites, tube porn sites have struggled with profitability and piracy.

“Tube sites have become part of the adult landscape now,” says Steven Hirsch, co-chairman of prominent adult movie studio Vivid Entertainment.  “But when all of this adult content is free, how do we get people to go from free to pay? ”

via The Challenge Of User-Generated Porn – Forbes.com

I don’t think anyone anticipated the intersection of porn and news in quite this way.   Although, knowing Murdoch, perhaps it’s to be expected.   We should’ve seen it coming in the fine print of his British tabloid The Sun.
See for yourself.  It’s all laid bare on The Sun’s Page 3.

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