The Times and Sunday Times newspaper in the United Kingdom is set to begin charging its readers a subscription fee to read the news on its re-designed Websites which will replace the current Times Online news site. Starting from June 2010, readers will have to pay £1 per day or £2 per week to use the Website. This decision was made by the renowned newspaper organisation in a bid to stop giving away free news stories which supposedly devalues journalism.
This move follows that which was taken by Wall Street Journal (WSJ), which now boasts of around 407,000 online subscribers, although some argue that WSJ offers specialist and not general content to its readers. At present, the Times newspaper currently boast of about 1.22 million daily users and hope that a substantial number of these users will be prepared to subscribe to the new online service.
If successful, we might actually be looking at the beginning of the end of free news stories on the Internet. Many observers and indeed rival newspaper organisations will be watching closely to see whether or not the decision will back-fire. However, there is still a long way to go and it is not yet certain if the strategy will attract enough subscribers to turn it into a profitable one.
Would you pay to read news on the Internet?
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May 28, 2010 at 5:40 pm
I think it will reduce the numbers of readers online and most reader we going to the other newspapers that free to read online.
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May 29, 2010 at 11:20 pm
Who needs online newspapers when you have Blogs?
Seriously though, a good amount of news gets shared via Web 2.0 sites like Blogs and Twitter. I do not think the big newspapers idea of charging customers to read the news will work out for them with all the other information sharing going on.
May 30, 2010 at 11:29 pm
no ofc i will not pay for online newspaper
May 31, 2010 at 7:02 am
Definitely most of the users are switch over to other online news papers. So The Times & Sunday Times reconsider their policy. Other wise they will loose their readers.
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May 31, 2010 at 9:31 pm
Definitely would not pay to read news. However, if the newspapers ever start charging I’ll just continue with the BBC. I pay a licence fee for the website so won’t be charged for that.
I think it’s a really bad idea on the newspapers front. More and more people are expecting the web to be free.
June 4, 2010 at 3:25 pm
From the comments so far, it does appear as if this experiment is bound to fail. However, I think the newspapers are hoping to make some sort of profit from the few that register. Although it remains to be seen if there will find enough interested readers/subscribers.
Per - Foredragsholder
November 7, 2010 at 4:30 pm
I don’t think people want pay for having acces to news online – after all there are tons of free news stuff online.
Anyway, your post mentioned this to start in June – do you know if the papers have had any luck with this approach?
April 9, 2011 at 7:25 pm
It makes sense to charge users for expert material online that can really only be found expressly through the particular newspaper (like espn.com does with its “insider”). But I agree that general access to news will be free bc people could just as soon find it elsewhere for free.
August 9, 2011 at 11:46 am
I doubt its a good idea to charge readers when the internet is overloaded with free news. Readers gets news updates round the clock, these updates are about news from around the world so readers won’t be willing to pay for news.