Journalism Online Announces News Corp. Investment, Passes 1,500 Publisher-Milestone
New Press+ e-Commerce Platform will Accelerate Move to Paid Content
New York, June 14, 2010 — Journalism Online, the company formed last year by Steven Brill, Gordon Crovitz, and Leo Hindery to enable newspapers, magazines, and online-only publishers of quality content to collect revenue from their online readers, today announced that News Corp. has purchased a minority stake in the company and that more than 1,500 publishers around the world have now signed letters of intent to launch the Press+ e-commerce platform.
“We believe in Journalism Online's vision, and that the flexible technology solution they have created will help a lot of organizations to monetize their valuable content,” said Jon Housman, President of News Corporation’s digital journalism initiatives. “We look forward to working with Steve and Gordon as we further our mission to ensure consumers have access to premium news content, when and where they want it.”
“We’re delighted by this investment and this vote of confidence,” said Brill. “Earlier this month, the first publishers to launch paid access began integrating the Press+ platform, which they are now in the final stages of testing and adjusting before launching their initial offerings to their readers. So this comes at the perfect time as we gear up for many more rollouts in the United States and around the world. As has been our practice, we intend to let our publishers make their own announcements of their launches, which we expect to happen throughout the summer.”
“As we continue to talk to publishers about Press+, being able to assure them that we have both the resources and support of a major strategic partner will be enormously helpful,” Crovitz added. “Indeed, News Corp. is the industry leader in making the case that there is value in journalism online for which readers will be willing to pay.”
The terms of the agreement were not announced, other than the fact that News Corp., as a minority investor, will have one seat on Journalism Online’s five-person board of directors.
The Press+ e-commerce platform allows publishers to choose and continually adjust multiple options for paid access, with each publisher selecting its own business model, offerings, and pricing. This includes the “metered model” under which many readers will continue to access sites for free, while the most engaged readers will pay for full access. Press+ will give consumers the convenience of one account and password to access their favorite web sites.