The Times Takes Paywall Gamble – Will It Succeed or Fail (Most Fail)

News International has revealed its plans to turn Times Online into a paid-only website, charging £1 a day or £2 for a week’s subscription to both sites.

News International’s announcement…

London, 26 March 2010 – News International today announces that The Times and The Sunday Times will start charging for access to their digital journalism in June using a pricing model that is simple and affordable.
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.

From June, the new sites, www.thetimes.co.uk and http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk, will be available for a charge of £1 for a day’s access or £2 for a week’s subscription. Payment will give customers access to both sites. The weekly subscription will also give access to the e- paper and certain new applications. Access to the digital services will be included in the seven-day subscriptions of print customers to The Times and The Sunday Times. 

Rebekah Brooks, Chief Executive, News International, said: “These new sites, and the apps that will enhance the experience, reflect the identity of our titles and deliver a terrific experience for readers. We expect to attract a growing base of loyal customers that are committed and engaged with our titles. We are building on the excellence of our newspapers and offering digital access to our journalism at a price that everyone can afford.

“At a defining moment for journalism, this is a crucial step towards making the business of news an economically exciting proposition. 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.”

John Witherow, Editor of The Sunday Times, said: “The launch of a dedicated Sunday Times website is a hugely significant moment for the paper. It will enable us to showcase our strengths in areas such as news, sport, business, style, travel and culture and display the breadth of Britain’s biggest-selling quality newspaper.

“For the first time, readers will have access to all their favourite sections and writers. We will be introducing new digital features to enhance our coverage and encourage interactivity. Every day, readers will be able to talk to our writers and experts and view stunning photographs and graphics. Subscribers will be able to get this brand new site, plus the enhanced Times site, seven days of the week, all for the price of a cup of coffee.”

James Harding, Editor of The Times, said: “The Times was founded to take advantage of new technology.  Now, we are leading the way again. Our new website – with a strong, clean design – will have all the values of the printed paper and all the versatility of digital media. We want people to do more than just read it – to be part of it.

“We continue to invest in frontline journalism. We have more foreign correspondents than our rivals and continue to put reporters on new beats – last year we added an Ocean Correspondent and we just became the only British paper to have a Pentagon Correspondent.  And we want to match that with investment in innovation.

“TheTimes.co.uk will make the most of moving images, dynamic infographics, interactive comment and personalised news feeds. The coming editions of The Times on phones, e- readers, tablets and mobile devices will tell the most important and interesting stories in the newest ways. Our aim is to keep delivering The Times, but better.”

Via: Paid Content

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