Australia's Fairfax to charge for online content

Aug 27, 2010
The mastheads of Australia's major newspapers published by the firm Fairfax. The media company has said it will begin charging for online content in the increasingly cut-throat newspaper environment as it reported a return to profit.

Australian publishing giant Fairfax Media Friday indicated it would begin charging for online content in the increasingly cut-throat newspaper environment as it reported a return to profit.

Fairfax said its digital network audience had grown 18 percent over the past year and it now had 30 million unique users a month, with its online business the group's fastest-growing segment and second-most profitable.

The subscription-only online version of its flagship business publication, the Australian Financial Review, had strong revenue gains, and Fairfax said it now planned to roll out paid content across its online and emerging mobile platforms.

"We will pursue... greater sharing of editorial content and collaborating across print, online and mobile, more integrated selling and monetising our content online and on emerging platforms," Fairfax said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, the company's major competitor, has already introduced paid content in Britain and is expected to expand the service to Australia later this year.

Murdoch has described tablet devices such as the as a "game-changer" for news organisations and said charging for content and launching across mobile platforms was the right strategy for future growth.

Fairfax, which also has media interests in New Zealand and the US, has already launched smart phone and tablet applications for a number of its products and moved all of its newspapers online, including 160 regional publications.

"Over time the , iPad and other e-reader platforms will enable us to distribute our content to new audiences or migrate existing audiences from the papers," it said.

Fairfax reported an annual of 282 million dollars (250 million US), rebounding from a 380 million dollar loss a year earlier as advertising revenues rallied seven percent and the firm shrunk its debt.

"Our strong and stable management has made our business more efficient and improved our brand in print, online and broadcasting," said Fairfax CEO Brian McCarthy.

"We are also well positioned for growth in the mobile applications area."

The company's shares gained 4.41 percent to 1.42 dollars in a moderately higher market.

Fairfax publishes The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age and owns a national radio network as well as magazine titles. Its major rival is News Limited, an offshoot of Murdoch's .

Explore further: Justices won't hear Google appeal in dispute with Oracle

Related Stories

Content is 'electronic emperor' says Murdoch

Feb 03, 2010

Buoyed by a box office hit in "Avatar" and better-than-expected profits, News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch has predicted a rosy future for content companies such as his media and entertainment giant.

Tablets may allow 're-set' for media: News Corp.

Jul 24, 2010

Tablet computers such as Apple's iPad may allow the news industry a "re-set" and to start charging for content after years of giving it away for free, a senior News Corp. executive said Friday.

Future of newspapers is digital: Murdoch

May 28, 2009

News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch said on Thursday that the future of newspapers is digital, but it may be 10 to 15 years before readers go fully electronic.

News Corp. net profit up on movie, cable TV showing

Nov 04, 2009

Global media giant News Corp. posted an 11 percent rise in quarterly net profit on Wednesday as strong results from its movie, cable television and book publishing divisions offset a newspaper slump.

Recommended for you

Microsoft sheds some of its ad business, mapping service

4 hours ago

Microsoft is handing off some its digital advertising business to AOL and selling its street-image mapping operation to Uber, as the giant software company tries to focus on activities more relevant to its core business.

Disney merges consumer product, interactive divisions

15 hours ago

Disney is merging its consumer product and interactive divisions, a move that acknowledges the shared goals of important product lines like the Disney Infinity video game franchise and the upcoming line of wearable toys called ...

Justices won't hear Google appeal in dispute with Oracle

20 hours ago

The Supreme Court is staying out of a long-running legal battle between technology giants Oracle and Google over copyright protection for a computer program that powers most of the world's smartphones and computer tablets.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.