Monday, November 23, 2009

News tries to Bing Google... may get Bonged

So play this WSJ/Bing drama out in your head (which is what I’m doing past midnight, so please forgive any fatigued leaps of logic)…

Bing pays NewsCorp some amount of money to be the exclusive search engine for its news properties, including the WSJ. It probably wouldn’t be a huge amount because Murdoch has it in for Google and being a thorn in the Googlers’ side is probably payment enough.

What happens next? WSJ traffic drops because about 75% of the searching population can’t find it? Maybe.

Or maybe other newspapers try to get a piece of the goods and start demanding either Bing or Google shell out some dough to search their sites.

If all the newspapers band together and demand payment for search from Bing or Google, that would be pretty powerful. That is a pretty big if, to assume that all media outlets would bandy together like that. Maybe the market would fracture and WSJ would go with Bing and NYT would go with Google.

Take this thought process one step farther and you have Bing as the conservative search site and Google as the liberal one. This may be stretching the thought process a bit but if this happens, it would royally suck and instead of the internet being a free forum of ideas, it would be bifurcated into two enormous echo chambers. But I digress….

Anyway, back to earth …. So Bing and Google begin to recoup their additional costs by charging advertisers a premium for placement on news related.

Of course, then some cottage industry would spring up of mirroring stories across the Net so any exclusivity to Bing or to Google would really only last a very short while. Like 2 seconds. That would lessen the incentive for advertisers to pay premium ad rates for exclusive content that isn’t really exclusive.

Anyway, you could continue to game this out back and forth in your head until you’re exhausted (as I was, when I first started this ramble.)

Bottom line, content is still king. You can play around with these funny web restrictions but ultimately, it is hard to imagine how they will work in a scalable fashion. The music industry tried all sort of “too-clever-by-half” legal and technical means to try to stop music pirating. Ultimately, they came to the realization of “hey, why don’t we give the customer what they want in a form they want it?” (epiphany courtesy Mr. Jobs)

This NewsCorp/Bing deal has the same feel to it. Instead of giving people the news in a manner and format that is of value to them (ie, that they will pay for) large companies with more money than savvies are trying to come up with ways to restrict content in the online world, which inherently defies restriction.

But then again, Rupert has shown his online chops by making MySpace such a success….

Bing Tries To Buy The News -

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