- Their output is more valuable than it is
- Google listing their stories for people to find and go to their site is somehow theft
Remember back in 2009, when Techdirt reported that Rupert Murdoch hated Google so much he had decided to block the search engine from indexing his titles, even though this would inevitably cut down their visibility and online traffic? He obviously thought that he would put this upstart technology in its place, showing that mighty media moguls don't need this Internet thing in order to flourish just like they did 50 years ago. According to this story in paidContent, it seems that strategy hasn't worked out too well:In the next few weeks, paidContent understands The Times' website will begin showing articles' first two sentences to search engines, in a marketing exercise designed to attract new subscribers.This shows that Murdoch has finally realized that being left out of Google is the online equivalent of not being listed in telephone directories in earlier times. It also suggests that attempts to gain subscribers for the online edition in other ways are not going so swimmingly, which must raise questions over the long-term viability of the paywalled approach for this title.
The limited free preview does not alter News International's belief that it should continue charging for The Times (visitors will be invited to subscribe to read full articles). But it does suggest that, having signed up 130,751 digital subscribers since mid-2010, the publisher is having to look in new places to maintain customer acquisition momentum.