Saturday, March 27, 2010

Times and Sunday Times charging for online content from June

The media industry uses a general yardstick that about 5% of visitors to news websites are likely to pay for content. Latest figures show that The Times and Sunday Times had 1.22m daily users.

However, Claire Enders, of media research company Enders Analysis, says that anyone who believes the Times papers will get a 5% conversion is in "dreamland".

The editor-in-chief of the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, is a leading sceptic of paywalls and has vowed to keep most of the content of his newspaper free online. In January he described the move towards paywall business models as a "hunch".

SHOOT: Very few people who are in the habit of consuming the news 'free' off the radio and other substitutes will, in this economy, go for paying for online content. News just isn't that important, or that necessary.
clipped from

Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp owns NI, has led a fierce campaign against internet sites which distribute news content from his companies. He has criticised Google in particular.

James Harding, editor of The Times, agreed that NI's paywall strategy was a risk. "But it's less of a risk than just throwing away our journalism and giving it away from free," he told the BBC.

He likened the news industry to the music industry of four years ago. "People said the game is up for the music industry because everyone is downloading for free. But now people are buying from download sites."

Mrs Brooks said the decision to charge came "at a defining moment for journalism... We are proud of our journalism and unashamed to say that we believe it has value".

Privately, executives admit the two papers are likely to lose thousands of regular online readers - and millions of more casual ones - says BBC media correspondent Torin Douglas.
 blog it

No comments: