As readers of previous posts, and the Australian Financial Review (which I am sure picked up the story all on its own and not by reading this blog, because, after all, they would have acknowledged it if they got it from here, wouldn’t they) will know, Caroline Overington let slip a the Media 140 conference yesterday that Rupert Murdoch’s pay wall plans might include a “cool new toy” for accessing media content.
The Sydney Morning Herald’s Asher Moses has pointed me to this story of his, which he thinks may contain the answer to the question: “what did she mean?” Note the dates he gives for the Apple Tablet’s delayed release, and compare and contrast with Rupert Murdoch’s announcement yesterday that News Limited may not meet its original mid 2010 deadline for the erection of pay walls. Remember, too, that News Limited insider Mark Day has already told us that what is being looked at is:
hybrid sites with open-access for all the breaking news that is currently provided free today…Beyond the open pages will be a raft of services and specialised information. A clue may be taken from the launch last week of Times Plus in Britain—a site majoring in culture and travel initiatives, where subscribers to The Times and Sunday Times will have automatic access, and non-subscribers will be asked to pay pound stg. 50 ($88.65) a year to join the club. On offer are travel deals, tickets to film and theatre previews, discount book offers, cross-promotional offers for pay-TV services, upgrades on airlines, and so on. I figure it’s no coincidence that many of the offers have a listed value of pound stg. 50—the same as the joining fee.
But rather than try and read runes, the people at #Media140 yesterday were having fun trying to name the “cool new toy”.
Suggestions so far: The Sun Kingdle. The Ru-Pod and the iRupert (with the last two names coming from Overington herself, who is undoubtedly messing with our minds.) More suggestions welcome.