Feeds

Pay for content? Norwegians would…

Not that they've got much choice

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Norway's media industry is embarking on a mass drive to charge for content on their online sites. The move comes at a time of falling Net advertising revenues in the country, apparently.

The media luvvies last year commissioned a microbilling system devised by e-Solutions, an Oslo-based software house, as a way of sidestepping purportedly inequitable revenue splits with telcos, which provide Internet access and hosting.

Norwegian punters charge up their micro-billing account with up to NKR1000(c.$US110) and pay for services. And pay they probably will - if they want to carry on surfing.

For the media companies are erecting tollgates en masse, according to Alan Cane, the FT's veteran tech hack.

"The biggest companies in the Norwegian alliance (representing 80 per cent of Norway's media interests), many of them rivals, have agreed that from a set date - in about four weeks - content that they intend to charge for will be confined to special areas of all their sites that can only be entered by subscription or payment," he writes. "So, surfers unhappy about forking out for information - news headlines, say - from one company will not be able to go to a competitor's site and get the stuff free."

Cane has written an interesting article about the Norwegian experiment. It comes very much from the technocratic 'this-costs-money, how-do-we-make-it-pay' school of thought.

We think the Norwegian game is unlikely to translate abroad to many countries. For one thing, the European Union does not take kindly to cartels; and for another the US is far too big to get a publishers' concert party off the ground. Besides Net publishing revenues are substantial enough (yes they are) in the US to sustain long term many for-free Net sites.

In the UK, if the media industry tried to do a similar thing, and everyone agreed to implement roadblocks at the same time, and this somehow was found legal under British and European competition law, the punters would simply flock to the BBC.

Finally, we wonder what Norwegians make of this new mass content tax. Approx. 10,000 of you a month read The Free Register - we welcome your feedback. ®

Related Link
mThe End of Free - "Chronicling Free to Fee and Beyond"

Related stories
FT.com, Slashdot, GeoCities flag up charges
On Wallace, Gromit and charging for content by PC and mobile phone

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.