Everybody knows that the newspaper industry is in big trouble.
As newspaper circulations dwindle, advertising revenues decline and advertising budgets are moved online, the online newspaper websites are failing the generate the same profits that the bloated media groups have become accustomed to.
Murdoch has made his views very clear that the current situation is unsustainable and a paid content model is the only solution. They are working on a paid system for the Timesonline.co.uk to be launched in Spring 2010.
In the meantime, Microsoft have jumped in an and offered to pay content providers to pull content from Google as a desperate attempt to gain some kind of advantage.
The idea of a different payment system per site is unlikely to work and a universal micro-payment system is long overdue.
Google’s solution is likely to be very simple, reliable and scalable and would have a high probability of success.
At that point Google will be taking a large percentage of the revenue so they could stand make massive profits from existing natural search traffic. The Irony is that Google could become the saviour of the industry and get even richer in the process.