During a News Corp earnings call on Tuesday (4 May), Rupert Murdoch hinted at some ‘important announcements’ for new subscription plans – beyond what we already know about paywalls. paidContent:UK reports (and speculates):
“We’ll be giving a press conference in about three to four weeks which we hope will have some important announcements in,” Murdoch said. Will this mechanism charge for entertainment as well as news, a caller asked? “Oh, you bet,” Murdoch said. “Everybody’s been negotiating with Apple about television shows, films – we do VOD, everything’s on there.” Will it be a competitor to iTunes Store, asked the questioner? “I guess so; an extension of it,” Murdoch replied.
The broad, cross-media nature of whatever it is Murdoch will unveil is intriguing. The new Times websites will cost £1 a day, £2 a week or free with a print subscription – but details on the latter bundle are as yet scant, leaving the model on its own looking rather rudimentary. Perhaps earlier speculation, that Times Online could charge subs along with a BSkyB satellite TV subscription for example, aren’t so far-fetched after all? And who could rule out lumping other News Corp offerings – say, movie tickets – in as well?