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Times and Sunday Times websites to charge from June


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Times and Sunday Times websites to charge from June 

 

The Times and Sunday Times newspapers will start charging to access their websites in June, owner News International (NI) has announced.

 

Users will pay £1 for a day's access and £2 for a week's subscription.

 

The move opens a new front in the battle for readership and will be watched closely by the industry.

 

NI chief executive Rebekah Brooks said it was "a crucial step towards making the business of news an economically exciting proposition".

 

Both titles will launch new websites in early May, separating their digital presence for the first time and replacing the existing, combined site, Times Online.

 

The two new sites will be available for a free trial period to registered customers. And payment will give customers access to both sites.

 

With newspaper sales in decline, companies have been searching for a business model that will make money from their websites.

 

But with so much news content available for free on the internet, NI's decision to charge is seen by many people as a high risk strategy.

 

James Harding, editor of The Times, agreed that there 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."

 

Ms 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.

 

"This is just the start. The Times and The Sunday Times are the first of our four titles in the UK to move to this new approach. We will continue to develop our digital products and to invest and innovate for our customers."

 

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8588432.stm

 

Not something I read, but no doubt they'll all follow suit.

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They won't all follow suit by any means, for example the Guardian's editor and head of digital content have both committed themselves to a free website.

 

It's going to be a fascinating time for newspapers, they're on borrowed time and everyone is struggling to work out how to earn money from content. I don't think website paywalls are going to be the answer though, doesn't seem like the content is seen as being valuable enough.

 

I've been following this for ages, and I still can't predict what the final result will be. Tablets and things like the iPad might be a boost for newspapers, as they'll be able to sell digital versions of their papers. But whether it will be a big enough market remains to be seen.

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Murdoch's trying this with his news websites as well, think it's doomed to failure to be honest.  Trying to get people to pay for online news now is like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube and their free-to-access, advert/license fee funded competitors will steal a march on them.

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it seems like the idea of free media may have backfired in this case with fewer people buying the written press in favour of a less regulated digital format.

 

we've got the level of politics we deserve now the written press is fast heading the same way.

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If this happens it's a disgrace.

why ?

 

I just think it's a massively excessive amount to charge to read something that will be free elsewhere on the web.

 

Perhaps 'disgrace' was a bit over the top but who in their right mind would pay over £100 a year for something they can get for free?

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Guardian website is better anyways. Aside from Caulkin, the Times football writers are to full of their own self importance.

 

Times must be losing quite a bit of money i would've though to try and boost their coffers with something like this.

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If this happens it's a disgrace.

why ?

 

I just think it's a massively excessive amount to charge to read something that will be free elsewhere on the web.

 

Perhaps 'disgrace' was a bit over the top but who in their right mind would pay over £100 a year for something they can get for free?

don't pay it then, it's not like its a utility.
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If this happens it's a disgrace.

why ?

 

I just think it's a massively excessive amount to charge to read something that will be free elsewhere on the web.

 

Perhaps 'disgrace' was a bit over the top but who in their right mind would pay over £100 a year for something they can get for free?

don't pay it then, it's not like its a utility.

 

I won't be paying it. I was simply airing my views, isn't that what a forum is all about?

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If this happens it's a disgrace.

why ?

 

I just think it's a massively excessive amount to charge to read something that will be free elsewhere on the web.

 

Perhaps 'disgrace' was a bit over the top but who in their right mind would pay over £100 a year for something they can get for free?

don't pay it then, it's not like its a utility.

 

I won't be paying it. I was simply airing my views, isn't that what a forum is all about?

yes but its a bit harsh calling it a disgrace because they wont give away their content for free.
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Guest cla1dwa

the guardian website's fantastic, although i think quite a few of their writers, (henry porter, afua hirsch, andrew brown, seth freedman), are in a word, shite.

 

i don't think much of timesonline. i'd certainly not pay.

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Guardian website is better anyways. Aside from Caulkin, the Times football writers are to full of their own self importance.

 

Times must be losing quite a bit of money i would've though to try and boost their coffers with something like this.

 

I wonder if they make him get rid of his twitter :lol:

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If this happens it's a disgrace.

why ?

 

I just think it's a massively excessive amount to charge to read something that will be free elsewhere on the web.

 

Perhaps 'disgrace' was a bit over the top but who in their right mind would pay over £100 a year for something they can get for free?

don't pay it then, it's not like its a utility.

 

I won't be paying it. I was simply airing my views, isn't that what a forum is all about?

 

Aye, but you've said it's a "disgrace" as if there was something morally unjust about the proposal, then tried to explain your "view" by sayiing that you actually believe it to be economically unviable.

 

Perhaps you think it's a "disgrace" as you feel the loss of online readership and advertising revenue, brought about by the £2/week charge driving away the majority of their e-readers, will lead to a fall from grace for "The Times" - an iconic part of our journalism history over the past 150years or so?

 

I doubt that's what you meant though.

 

You ask who "in their right mind would pay over £100 a year for something they can get for free" - there are hundreds of examples out there already, newspapers have been searching for a new business model since the advent of online newspapers further drove down their print advertising revenue.

 

I see little difference between subscribing online and having the newspaper delivered every day (aside from the pseudo-economic and social benefit of having a paperboy employed, but that's another story - NPI!), in fact, it's more convenient for me to have online access as I do a lot of travelling about. It also works out cheaper than buying the normal paper twice a week or the Sunday Times every week.

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If this happens it's a disgrace.

why ?

 

I just think it's a massively excessive amount to charge to read something that will be free elsewhere on the web.

 

Perhaps 'disgrace' was a bit over the top but who in their right mind would pay over £100 a year for something they can get for free?

don't pay it then, it's not like its a utility.

 

I won't be paying it. I was simply airing my views, isn't that what a forum is all about?

yes but its a bit harsh calling it a disgrace because they wont give away their content for free.

 

Aye. As I said above, my use of the word disgrace was over the top. It wasn't a question of me believing the plans to charge for their content was morally wrong, just an error on my part in the use of the word 'disgrace'. I should have said 'shame'.

 

:-X

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Fair play.

 

I too, enjoy getting all of their online content for free but I'm not priced out by their charging structure, it's also reasonable enough to subscribe on a week-by-week/edition-by-edition basis (as you would do with a print paper) rather than having to be tied into some sort of annual-subscription like the FT & The Economist have.

 

Personally, I think their sports coverage is pretty good and the columnists are part of the reason why I go back (even with Rod Liddle, know thy enemy, etc). The Granuaid get negative points for their continued employment of the myopic Wheese Keys Louise (I mean, who starts an article "Contrary to what many of recent commenters have suggested, I do not harbour an anti-Newcastle United agenda" followed by three paragraphs of unsubstantiated drivel about NUFC :jesuswept:)

 

There's opposition views and then there's just spite.

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If this happens it's a disgrace.

why ?

 

I just think it's a massively excessive amount to charge to read something that will be free elsewhere on the web.

 

Perhaps 'disgrace' was a bit over the top but who in their right mind would pay over £100 a year for something they can get for free?

 

There are probably some loyal Times readers who will. I certainly won't be forking out. Even if all the broadsheets were charging for access, I'd spend my money on some other paper. The Times has been on the slide for years.

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If this happens it's a disgrace.

why ?

 

I just think it's a massively excessive amount to charge to read something that will be free elsewhere on the web.

 

Perhaps 'disgrace' was a bit over the top but who in their right mind would pay over £100 a year for something they can get for free?

 

There are probably some loyal Times readers who will. I certainly won't be forking out. Even if all the broadsheets were charging for access, I'd spend my money on some other paper. The Times has been on the slide for years.

all the print media has.
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I can't remember the last time I bought a newspaper - I doubt I'll ever buy one again.

 

I would pay to use some online services if I think they warrant it, but newspapers need to be more clever than just charging to read their website. The Guardian (sorry to use that as an example again) sell a £3 iPhone app for their content, which is excellent. Just an example of the revenue streams papers will have to explore.

 

In some ways I hope the Times succeed, I certainly don't want to see papers disappear.

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Didn't the New York Times start charging not that long ago, gave up and went back to being free?

 

I think you'd need some pretty exclusive and specific content (like the Financial Times) for this to work, general news stuff just isn't gonna cut it - when people can get the facts and figures of what's happening elsewhere for free, they're not going to shell out just to hear them again but with Jeremy Clarkson's take on them.

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