Will estate agents soon have to pay for online news? - The new Micropayment system

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Will estate agents soon have to pay for online news? - The new Micropayment system

On the 12th August, Resource Techniques talked about 'The end of newspaper advertising? Many estate agents ask this question.' With that shift in marketing, journalists also have another attack on the very fabric of their industry; free online news. Why should the public go out their way to spend money on something that they can get free? Do you read free online articles or pay for it?

Google News was launched in April 2002 as a beta release (testing by users before its official release) and then officially released on the 23rd of January 2006. In March of 2005, the French paper 'Agence France Presse' sued Google for $17.5million for infringement of copyright. In 2007, there was also a court case in Belgium that ruled that Google News is not allowed to publish links to Belgian Newspapers.

The relationship been journalists and Google has been described as 'frosty' to say the least. Journalists are wary of Google news whilst Google News is aware that its very existence depends on Newspapers publishing their articles online.

Time for a change.

In a possibly brave move, Google is proposing a micropayment system to change the way people access its online content. An 8 page PDF response by Google has been published by the Nieman Journalism Lab shows that Micropayments are only part of an overall plan to help newspapers make money from their online content. The 8 page PDF included 5 important features that will be part of this system. They are:

  • Single sign-on capability for users to access content and manage subscriptions
  • Ability for publishers to combine subscriptions from different titles together for one price
  • Ability for publishers to create multiple payment options and easily include/exclude content behind a paywall
  • Multiple tiers of access to search including 1) snippets only with "subscription" label, 2) access to preview pages and 3) "first click free" access
  • Advertising systems that offer highly relevant ads for users, such as interest-based advertising

Estate agents, would you pay for online news? What if there were free news sites but you had to pay for articles from major newspapers, would you pay then? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook!