The UK-based 24-hour news channel, Sky News, has announced that European viewers will now be able to access its content on the ‘pay-as-you-go’ Internet TV service, Jalipo (see our review). The News Corp-owned channel joins other news organizations including BBC World, EuroNews and Al Jazeera, who have all struck up partnerships with the web-based Internet TV service, since it launched earlier this year.
Rather than charging a subscription fee or funding content through advertising, Jalipo content is viewed in exchange for J:Credits, the company’s own online currency. Jalipo’s strategy hinges on the idea that micro-payments are the key to getting Internet users accustomed to paying for content, in an attempt to emulate the success of ring-tone sales or SMS text-messaging, for example.
However, if Jalipo’s model is to have any chance of acceptance among users — and paying by the minute seems a very short sighted way of watching ‘television’ — a news channel is the least natural place to start. Why? All free-to-air digital television services include several 24-hours news offerings, as do most basic cable and satellite TV packages. The perception is that news content is ‘free’ (supported by ads), so why would users pay for it just because it’s online? The exception might be people living abroad who can’t otherwise get access to news back home.
Even so, I remain wholly unconvinced that Jalipo’s model has much of a future — and the addition of another news channel does nothing to change my mind.