Rupert Murdoch goes way out on a limb:
NEW YORK News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch believes that in 10 to 15 years, newspapers will be read mainly on digital devices.
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"I think it's two or three years away before they get introduced in a big way, and then it will probably take 10 to 15 years for the public to swing over," he added.
As little as five years ago, this would have been a gutsy prediction. Now, it's just stating the obvious. As a medium for transmitting timely information, paper is just too limited in every way -- too little space to put news you might not even want that is too slow to get to you.
He also said something too true -- newspapers' rush to get content online for free "has been damaging." In fact, it was exceedingly stupid. Imagine if record producers said, "Here you go, dowload this album for free, and, by the way, please give us $15 for the CD version." He predicts that free ride will be over soon -- people are going to have to pay for content. We'll see. For people to be willing to buy it, we first have to stop providing it free. Who's going to have the guts to be first? It will probably require a cooperative arrangement involving all or most content providers, including newspapers, in which all free content is removed at once (i,e, a "vast conspiracy"). It's a "don't know what you got till it's gone" thing.