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Rupert Murdoch strikes again: No more free Post for iPad users

Perhaps it was his doomed adventure with Myspace, or maybe he was too set in his old media ways. Whatever it was, Rupert Murdoch, head of global media group, News Corporation, has not been the most ardent fan of media developments in the 21st century.

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Top 10 US newspaper, the New York Post, owned by News Corp. has blocked access to its website for iPad users.

iPad users report that when attempting to reach the Post’s website from the native browser, they are met with a page saying “NYPost.com editorial content is now only accessible on the iPad through the New York Post App”, without doubt a move to force iPad users to use the paid for iPad application.

At the moment, the block on access to the Post’s site only applies to users attempting to reach it from the iPad. Those accessing it from a desktop or laptop computer are still able to access Post content.

In the face of shrinking circulation figures and the resultant drop in advertising revenue for print newspapers, Murdoch has repeatedly stated his intention to change the new media model. In Murdoch’s opinion, the future of new media lies not in the current model of free content, but rather in making users pay for content.

One of the most memorable instances of this intention was last year’s raising of a paywall around one of News Corp’s most prestigious publications, The Times of London. Another notable News Corp. publication behind an online paywall is The Wall Street Journal.

The paywall model generally utilised in News Corp’s publications is different from the New York Times’ “soft” paywall which allows casual users a limited amount of free content over a specific period of time.

Though Murdoch and NewsCorp have continually lauded the paywall experiment as a success, independent figures on what goes on behind the paywall — both for News Corp. and the NYT — are not readily available, making proper interrogation of these claims impossible.

Although Murdoch is seldom characterised as a friend — and often as an outright enemy — of new media, News Corp. deserves recognition for its attempts to work within new media. In February, News Corp. launched the first iPad only newspaper, The Daily.


Murdoch in a 2010 interview, discussing paywalls, print media and the iPad

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