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Tuesday, 02 November 2010 12:41

Newspapers dying behind paywalls

Written by Nick Farell
y_analyst

Visits plummet
Newspapers hoping to make more cash out of their online operations by making users pay to get past their paywalls appear to be suffering. More than 100,000 people have paid to go behind the UK Times and Sunday Times' new online paywalls but visits to their websites have fallen by about 87 per cent.

Before it bought in a paywall Times Online was registering about 21 million unique users a month to its front page earlier this year. That figure fell to 2.7 million last month.

The papers said in addition 100,000 people had a joint subscription to read the newspapers in print and digitally. However the newspapers are pleased because they say they are not having to give away their content for free.

Times editor James Harding seems to think that the figures are a good thing, and that the papers were "hugely encouraged". Times executives said they had expected to lose 90 per cent of the papers' online readers when they started charging £2 a week, or £9.99 for a four-week subscription.



Nick Farell

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Comments  

 
+16 #1 johndgr 2010-11-02 13:30
"However the newspapers are pleased because they say they are not having to give away their content for free."

Unfortunately they can't see the big picture. When they see it, it will be too late. You can't put a price on something that it is free today on the internet, or maybe you can if you want to bankrupt in 2-3 years and no one notice it.
 
 
+4 #2 Bl0bb3r 2010-11-02 14:24
Like everything that is man-made, and not automated by machines, it requires to be sustained more considerably.

The remark that "You can't put a price on something that it is free today on the internet" is false in so many ways!

First thing, it's free because someone jerks around and posts that info for free despite the fact that there no right for such an action. Competition at hand? Maybe.

Those articles are posted by people that need to eat, dress, and live. That can't be done with free! Once the source that posts info is gone, you'd wish free wasn't even invented.

Right now we're on the edge between wanting things for free and the collapse of that distribution system, which has many names, people names.
 
 
+6 #3 Bl0bb3r 2010-11-02 14:30
I wanted to do something about it, IDK if I'll ever make it given the bad economic situation where I live... but £9.99 in my opinion is way to much.

The model would have been a lot better if the price would've been around £1 or £2 per month, given that this way a lot more than 100K subscribers would have joined.
 
 
-1 #4 Jigar 2010-11-02 14:47
I hope your subscriber don't find free online news, or else you guys are toast.
 
 
+5 #5 codechimp 2010-11-02 16:25
Quoting Bl0bb3r:
Those articles are posted by people that need to eat, dress, and live. That can't be done with free! Once the source that posts info is gone, you'd wish free wasn't even invented.


Except for the fact that they were making money off of advertising. So it wasn't like they weren't getting paid. In the future, they'll have to make it work because now they won't be making as much off of advertising. its not even an issue of free vs paying...its an antiquated business model trying to adapt in a changing market; while striving to the capitalist ideal that if you aren't growing then you aren't successful.
 
 
+1 #6 johndgr 2010-11-02 16:59
Bl0bb3r first you are saying that it is ok to put a subscription, then you are saying that £9.99 is too expensive? for most people any subscription is expensive. I am not saying if it is right or wrong, I am saying how things are today. if you don't adapt you are toast to use Jigar's words. I am not going to speak much about internet advertising. codechimp's post is enough. Someone with more experience could help here if he could make a guess about the cost of a single banner on a news paper's first page that gets 20 million visits per month compared with the cost on a news paper's first page that gets 2 million visits per month.
 
 
-1 #7 Bl0bb3r 2010-11-02 17:07
Quoting codechimp:
Except for the fact that they were making money off of advertising.



Except that technology moves forward, and with it so does NoScript and AdBlock. Which are pretty critical, apparently, for a lot of people... guess the ad-revenue argument is a bust.

Also, there's no such thing as an "antiquated business model" here. Next thing you'll be asking for free food because paying for it is so yesterday. How about free work? That means not getting payed for it!

They have a product, only now it's moving to a new medium, but it's there. What's is wrong is only the price. Because of the internet, they can reach a much more wider audience with ease and thus costs should go down.
 
 
-4 #8 Bl0bb3r 2010-11-02 17:13
Quoting johndgr:
Bl0bb3r first you are saying that it is ok to put a subscription, then you are saying that £9.99 is too expensive?



And there's no contradiction in what I wrote... an article was written by someone, edited by another, stored on costly hardware for you to read. I find it only natural that a few cents should go here and there for the contribution, especially since on the internet we're not hundred thousands but tens if not hundreds of million "contributors". Costly subscriptions aren't justified.

Don't speak, because I have a lot more arguments than you three combined why it's not as you see it. Plain adverts will die just as the remote removed the need for us to watch commercials on TV.
 
 
+5 #9 JaY_III 2010-11-02 18:21
Quoting Bl0bb3r:
Except that technology moves forward, and with it so does NoScript and AdBlock...


Um Blobb3r,
You know this site is free right?
Stating that the free model doesn't work on a free website isn't most likely the best place to get your point across.

The fact that this site is free and supported by ads, simply invalidates every point you made.

This is simply because this site with its paid by ads model, contradicts every point you made. With the proof you are reading this site right now.
 
 
0 #10 canerpense 2010-11-02 19:31
Quoting JaY_III:
Quoting Bl0bb3r:
Except that technology moves forward, and with it so does NoScript and AdBlock...


Um Blobb3r,
You know this site is free right?
Stating that the free model doesn't work on a free website isn't most likely the best place to get your point across.

The fact that this site is free and supported by ads, simply invalidates every point you made.

This is simply because this site with its paid by ads model, contradicts every point you made. With the proof you are reading this site right now.




Exactly my thoughts...
 

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