The Times goes behind a paywall today

the times website 2.PNG
Readers of The Times website, the online presence of one the UK’s oldest and most well respected papers goes behind a paywall today. Long gone is free-browsing of The Times articles, with access now restricted to those willing to pay a premium.

There will be multiple ways of paying for the content on The Times. Readers will be asked to pay £1 for the first 30 days of access to the site, and then £2 a week from there on in. You’ll also be able to pick up a 24 hour pass for £1 a pop.

Rupert Murdoch, owner of The Times umbrella company News International, believes that the higher quality of reportage on the site will retain enough users to become far more profitable than their current model.

It’s not just subscription fees that are potentially lucrative here though, but advertising too. A niche, paying audience will mean that advertisers will be expected to pay a higher premium for more focussed exposure. Add to that the possibility of user tracking and trends across subscribers, and you have some very valuable personal data that can be mined.

It’s an important day then not only for The Times, but for the web as a whole. Though the financial Times and Wall Street Journal offer paid-for content, they have also offered free articles too. If a company as massive as News International can make paywalls work, it wont be long before other media companies follow suit, which may well ring the death knell for the culture of the free web.






About the Author

Gerald Lynch

Gerald LynchThe Times goes behind a paywall today
  • Commodore Biggles

    Rupert Murdoch will be the death of Journalism.

    • Darrell

      Journalism will be fine. Big media, however, is in big trouble.

  • Natalia

    Well, Times, it was nice knowing you. We’ll miss you when you’re gone, at least until another site comes in to take your place, then we’ll forget all about you.

  • Anonymous

    “It’s an important day then not only for The Times, but for the web as a whole. “

    This whole article sounds like an advertisement.

  • RFW

    “Higher quality reportage” in the Times? Hardly. Just in the last few years, the standard of the Times’ journalism has steadily gone downhill.

    I suspect Murdoch is going to be sorely disappointed, but frankly the articles in the Times simply aren’t worth the price he’s asking. Until mid-June, when you had to register even to read the Times for free, I found that I’d read at most one or two articles a day. Definitely not worth the price asked.

    Oh, well, Murdoch is an old man who won’t be around much longer.’

  • Blasticulus

    They should attract dozens and dozens of subscribers with this scheme. It will be interesting to see how long their pride makes them hold out before reversing the decision.

  • HERPADERP

    ‘it wont be long before other media companies follow suit, which may well ring the death knell for the culture of the free web’

    I can not laugh enough at this statement. This site – a free site – would post that. People will just go get the news elsewhere. Why?

    Because aggregators gonna aggregate, and no one is gonna pay.

  • Wilful Travesty

    “If a company … can make paywalls work, it … may well ring the death knell … of the free web.”

    Really? You end the article on THIS? The VERY question that everyone has been asking for years? How flippant. It’s a HUGE if. And your using it to summarily end the article shows you are either very new to the web, or you are arrogant and pompous.

    Were you paid by the Times to write this article?

  • Dan

    well, this month they go behind this paywall, next month they’ll move into bankruptcy, dissappointing all 7 paying subscribers.

  • rekabis

    You do a good job quoting the FARK headline I made, Dan. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  • Martin
  • http://baldemarhuerta.com Baldemar Huerta

    Damn! I thought it was the NY Times that was about to go out of biz.

  • Wilder

    And the wall comes tumbling down after the staff are reduced to one editor, one reporter, and a howler monkey for the kids to get their pictures with.

  • Shane

    I used to read this newspaper online but their website was, in my opinion, always a little shonky. Particularly the comments sections and blogs.

    Prior to erecting the paywall they had a full page Flash ad coaxing people to demo the content. It crashed my Firefox every time it launched. So in a nutshell they want me to pay money for a website that they cant even get to work.

    What do they think I am an I-Phone 4 owner?

    :)

    I’d love to see their web traffic statistics for the past fortnight.

  • Shane

    I used to read this newspaper online but their website was in my opinion always a little shonky. Particularly the comments sections and blogs.

    Prior to erecting the paywall they had a full page Flash ad coaxing people to demo the content.

    It crashed my Firefox every time it launched.

    There is no way I’d ever pay to use their website.
    I’d love to see their web traffic statistics for the past fortnight.

  • Camán

    Other Times web papers will follow suit, I’m sure. Over the last years I’ve been reading SeattleTimes and the IrishTimes. Both web papers will end up behind the paywall as well, so good riddance. I will not be paying that rediculus amount. Then it’s goodbye to the Swedish web paper DN. They took another route and put snippets of news on the web, compared to what’s in their paper issue. I’ll just have to find other web papers, since I’ve got better things in mind for me money.

  • http://www.newfreeonlinegames.net games online

    thanks for sharing,really informative article for me,i have checked it out i definitely come here again and again in future for the latest updates.