The future is free

To virtually no intelligent observer’s surprise, Rupert Murdoch’s paywall is failing:

My sources say that not only is nobody subscribing to the website, but subscribers to the paper itself—who have free access to the site—are not going beyond the registration page. It’s an empty world. The wider implications of this emptiness are only just starting to become clear. A Murdoch and Fleet Street veteran with whom I’ve been corresponding about the paywall reported to me on his recent conversation with an A-list entertainment publicist: “What was really interesting to me was that this person volunteered a blinding realization. ‘Why would I get any of my clients to talk to the Times or the Sunday Times if they are behind a paywall? Who can see it? I can’t even share a link and they aren’t on search. It’s as though their writers don’t exist anymore.’”

What the professional journalists and their corporate paymasters have forgotten is that they are on the wrong side of not one, but two issues. Everyone knows that the corporate media are on the wrong side of the cost equation. But what they don’t realize is that the corporate media are quite often on the wrong side of the quality equation as well these days.

Now, my daily readership of 7k blog readers is absolutely tiny compared to however many people visit the Fox News and Sunday Times sites, but is there anyone who would put the track record of a single economics writer for one of those sites against mine? And if you start factoring in other independent economics writers like Mike Shedlock, Karl Denninger, and the Mises Institute collective, you can see how the cumulative free readerships not only rival the corporate readerships, but enjoy a substantially higher quality of material as well.

Given the influx of corporate investment from places like Mexico and Saudi Arabia, we can count on the mainstream media product to become more and more irrelevant, while the free media that is a marketing adjunct to its producers’ primary careers continues to improve in quality.

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