This is going to end up being an absolute bonanza for all the bloggers out there.
When polled, something like 70% of the people under 30 say they never bother reading/watching (or trust) the major news sources. Most say they prefer to get their news from smaller independent sources such as bloggers and "focused topic" websites.
When the TV screenwriters went on strike, the major networks countered by dropping a lot of their scripted content and replacing it with cheap to produce 'reality' and talk shows. Once the strike was over, the writers got much of what they asked for in their new contract. Unfortunately, they got a better contract in a market with significantly less demand for their services than existed before they walked out.
If my revenue stream was shrinking, I'd be the first to allow - nay insist - that Google and every other
search engine out there index my stuff. I'd also try a reverse strategy of sorts, by having some content available only in print
as opposed to on the open web. Web 'exclusives' lured print readers onto many magazine websites when they first came out. I'm wondering if a similar strategy could get web readers to purchase print editions.
And it should come as no surprise Microsoft is toadying up to Murdoch's scheme either. Microsoft has been actively seeking out (and paying large sums for) exclusive rights to content over the last several years - probably as a hedge for the inevitable day when they can no longer sell their operating system; or convince people they want the newest - and even more feature bloated version of Office.
I have no problem understanding why Murdoch would like his readers to pay for his content. But it's a complete mystery to me why he seems to feel that restricting who can index it will benefit him or his business. When business is hurting, the absolute last thing any sane company wants to do is give people a reason to go out shopping for an alternative.
But then again...who ever said Murdoch was sane?
About the only possible temporary winner I can see would be Microsoft (typical for a Microsoft deal!) since Murdoch's action might have the short-term benefit of forcing people to use Bing instead of Google for some of their web search needs. This could also be beneficial to Microsoft in the long run since it helps damage the public perception of Google as the sui generis
search engine. When people think "web search" they almost always automatically think "Google." Microsoft would very much like to change that way of thinking. And the best way to do that is to make sure it can't be used for everything. Teaming up with Murdoch to balkanize web searching is a step in that direction.
I think it will only be a matter of time before Murdoch realizes the truth of the saying: Walls can't shut things out - they only shut things in.