Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Murdoch wants more money for Kindle-WSJ

Well, Robert Murdoch wants more money for all his other news deliveries too, in general.
See the earlier article about Murdoch "rebuffing" the Amazon Kindle business model.  He said that Amazon wouldn't be getting his content, while others pointed out Amazon already had the Wall Street Journal content and books by Harper Collins.  If he didn't already know that (seems so), he may have gotten even more perturbed that this was a done deal in his case.  The sudden 50% increase in the Kindle pricing of the Wall Street Journal was made about 2.5 weeks later.  No other increases have been seen on the other Kindle newspaper offerings.

The Amazon Kindle Community forum response is something less than delight (with numerous reports of WSJ cancellations) over the WSJ price increase from $9.99/mo. to $14.99/mo. and one can wonder if Murdoch won't see a net loss on this.  He had bristled over the idea of the 30% or so said to be alloted to publishers while probably assuming that Amazon got the balance.
  As mentioned here in an entry posted on May 10
"According to a reliable source in the know, The New Yorker's Kindle split is divided 33% New Yorker, 33% Amazon, and 33% wireless carrier."
At Washington Post's paidcontent.org, Staci D. Kramer wrote, on May 6:
' Murdoch put it simply ...“We will not be ceding our content rights to the fine people who created the Kindle.  We will control the prices for our content and we will control our relationships with our customers.

' Any device maker or website which doesn't meet these basic criteria on content will not be doing business long-term with News Corporation.

' Take this one of two ways: News Corp. will keep pushing other possibilities until Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) backs down on its controls (good luck with that) or News Corp. will opt for a device it either owns or at least controls and can use in a proprietary way. '
But then, WP's paidcontent.org added:
' (The perils of writing live about Murdoch.  In further comments, he brushed off the idea of News Corp. investing in a device, saying the company may invest in something experimentally: “We're not appliance makers.”  A spokesperson later explained that the decision about how News Corp will handle this literally hasn't been made yet.
' But in nearly the same breath, Murdoch bragged about 360,000 downloads of the free WSJ iPhone app over the past three weeks; that would be from the App Store operated by Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) with the same lack of control for News Corp.  It's as contradictory as offering the content-rich app for free and complaining about how the online business model has to change.

'   Then again, he promised that as soon as the technology is there, readers will be asked to pay “handsomely” for access. (It will be fascinating to see how many “free” readers pony up—and how much the WSJ charges.) '
  On May 11, Kramer wrote
' And, in today's reality, DJ [Dow Jones] is looking at any and every way to get more people to pay directly for access to the WSJ in a variety of forms, while encouraging current subscribers to pay even more by expanding offerings... '

For the WSJ-disenchanted who still want a good paper for financial news and analysis, try the Financial Times subscription, at $9.99, as they get an average of almost 5 stars from a good number of Amazon customer reviews.  The WSJ never did better than 3 stars in customer satisfaction.  The 14-day free trial applies to this also. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

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(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
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  1. But, to get full online content, the WSJ already has a subscription fee - about $100. By entering my user ID and password into the iPhone app, I get full access to the same content I get through a web browser. But on the Kindle, I would have to pay the EXTRA subscription fee. Which is now, for the WSJ, $5 versus $8 for the online subscription.

  2. PRW, I agree that the Kindle version of WSJ is not best value anymore for all the reasons stated, including yours.

    But he is planning on changing the iPhone app as well, per other stories, from free to not-so-free. As he says, he eventually wants readers of his content to "pay handsomely" eventually. Until then, he's seen the amount of interest when it's free.

    His raising of the Kindle pricing seems to be unhappiness with the percentage his company gets for the Kindle version.

  3. Hi,

    New to the Kindle. I would love to get the NY Post on the device. Is this possible? Thanks.



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