Media & PR

Europe's biggest publisher moves to charging for online news

The Germany Axel Springer group has this week launched an iPhone application for two national German newspapers, Bilt and Die Welt. For both there is a monthly subscription charge for access.

The group is also intending to introduce charging more widely, with details due next week of how it will charge for local content on two of its regional titles.

Aside from the interest in a very large but non-Murdoch media enterprise taking moves towards online charging, it’s also notable that Axel Springer sees Google News as an ally rather than the enemy:

[It’s head of public affairs] Keese said Internet search engine Google Inc. (GOOG) could be an important partner in Springer’s attempt to bring customers to its paid products.

“Existing platforms like Google News should develop accordingly,” Keese said.

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