Google Pay-for-News Scheme Ignores Reality

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2009 1:17 PM CDT
Google logos are shown inside Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Google CEO Eric Schmidt's proposed model for online newspapers calls for a cable TV-like approach to subscription content, with tiers like free, basic, and premium. His ideas not only come too late, but they're “deeply flawed,” Douglas A. McIntyre writes for 24/7 Wall Street. And "even if they were valuable, they come too late in the cycle of destruction that marks the end of the financial viability of newspapers."

But even if a system were up and running—a difficult process both technologically and editorially—McIntyre sees another obstacle: Most content "is available somewhere else,” free. Sure, the New York Times is a good paper, but everything in it is done as well or better elsewhere. “Americans are used to free news now," McIntyre concludes." Reversing that will be nearly impossible.”