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The Almighty Buck The Media United Kingdom

The Times Erects a Paywall, Plays Double Or Quits 344

Posted by timothy
from the testing-what-the-market-will-bear dept.
DCFC writes "News International, owners of The Times and The Sunday Times announced today that from June readers will be required to pay £1 per day or £2 per week to access content. Rupert Murdoch is delivering on his threat to make readers pay, and is trying out this experiment with the most important titles in his portfolio. No one knows if this will work — there is no consensus on whether it is a good or bad thing for the industry, but be very clear that if it succeeds every one of his competitors will follow. Murdoch has the luxury of a deep and wide business, so he can push this harder than any company that has to rely upon one or two titles for revenue."
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The Times Erects a Paywall, Plays Double Or Quits

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  • Methinks this will end in tears.

    • 8 pounds a month (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @05:42AM (#31638212) Journal

      8 pounds a month, a lot less isn't it? But I think it is the 1 pound per day that people will indeed choke on.

      I don't really read news sites myself, I read stories that I found links to. But I don't really go to a newspaper site and just read all the stories. So it would be NOT 1 pound per day, but 1 pound per article. So I just wouldn't.

      And because I follow links to several sites, it is also not 1 buck per day, but maybe 20 bucks for all the different sites. And that does hurt, even if you take a monthly subscription.

      That is the biggest reason I think this will fail.

      People use the net different then a newspaper. When you take a newspaper subscription, you read it like a book. But when you browse the net, you go here you go there. Take in a page here, an article there. The problem isn't paying 1 subscription fee, it is paying dozens.

      Lets see, 1 euro for slashdot, 1 for tweakers, 1 for comics.com, 1 for penny-arcade, 1 for the bbc, 1 for the times, 1 for the new york times, etc etc. That is going to hurt pretty fast.

      True micro-payments would help, but the amounts would have to be truly tiny. As in a tenth of a cent for an article and that is never going to work.

      And anyway, I don't have a credit card and the only Americans who have ever heard of Global Collect are Sony (SOE is the only MMO company in the world to support iDeal (dutch banks) and other countries payment systems (this might have changed in recent years)). So how am I going to pay even if I wanted to. (Oh and for irony, supporting iDeal is cheaper per transaction then credit card payments).

      • Re:8 pounds a month (Score:4, Informative)

        by tepples (727027) <<tepples> <at> <gmail.com>> on Saturday March 27, 2010 @06:01AM (#31638280) Homepage Journal

        I don't have a credit card

        At least where I live (Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA), banks and credit unions offer VISA or MasterCard debit cards to their checking account customers at no additional charge.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by JustOK (667959)

          at no additional charge.

          unless you use them

      • by jonbryce (703250) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @06:09AM (#31638324) Homepage

        It isn't so much the amount involved, which is the same as buying the dead tree version, it is the fact that it is quicker to find another newspaper on the internet than it is to find your credit card and type all the details in, whereas in a newsagent, it is pretty easy to find a pound coin in your pocket and hand it over.

      • by sodul (833177)

        the only Americans who have ever heard of Global Collect are Sony

        FYI Sony [wikipedia.org] is Japanese.

      • by Ephemeriis (315124) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @07:52AM (#31638734)

        I don't really read news sites myself, I read stories that I found links to. But I don't really go to a newspaper site and just read all the stories. So it would be NOT 1 pound per day, but 1 pound per article. So I just wouldn't.

        That's the problem with paywalls these days... Most folks don't just go to a single site for their news.

        Personally, I gather my information from a variety of aggregators like Slashdot, Reddit, Google News, and an assortment of blogs. I don't just go to a single news site and read everything they have to offer.

        So I'd have to pay to access a half-dozen sites a day, if not more.

        I suppose that maybe this is the intent... Make it too expensive to shop around for your information. Make it cheaper to go to a single source. So you don't read just a single article from The Times, you read pretty much everything there. And I assume there'll still be advertising all over the site.

    • by Simonetta (207550) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @05:47AM (#31638246)

      Charging a pound a day to read news is ill-advised. It will transform this man's newspaper from being the anchor media of the community to being just another website for the rich and their wack-job worshipers.

      Newspapers a hundred-years ago were the voice and rallying point of the many diverse communities in the USA and the voice of the middle class in Europe. There were many and each had strong and opposing editorial positions. After World War II the newspapers consolidated into a few major corporations and greatly softened their strident editorial positions. They started to become focused on local advertising, legal announcements, and providing a printed 'voice of record' for centralized government and corporate positions and viewpoints.

          In the 1980s multiple papers and editions in cities disappeared. Most major cities had only one daily and one 'alternative' weekly for young adults. At the millennium, the function of providing news and advertisements started being done by the web and newspapers began to be perceived as irrelevant. A large number of people born after WWII hated their local established daily because the ultra-conservative editorial board would always take the wrong position on every single issue, year after year. Other middle-of-the-road young people found little in the daily that was useful to their lives. One by one, they stopped buying the local paper as the years went by. Editions of major city papers, NY Times, Washington Post, started being published in minor cities.

          The wealthy loved the daily paper. They were deluded into believing that the conservative editorial positions were a manifestation of the political views of the people and not a paid reflection of their own perspectives. They poured millions into the dailys, year after year.

          Then a few years ago, a tipping point happened. The amount of money coming in didn't pay the costs of the dailys. The papers went 'thin', losing 50-70% of their daily newsprint and concentrated on food ads, kittens-stuck-in-trees human-interest stories, obituaries, and comics. The young get the functions of a daily paper from the web and cable TV. The old feel just lost and the middle class/aged just don't care as long as the SUV still runs.

          The global newspaper kings should make their news outlets and web sites free. The sources that they use to get the information are more interested in getting their positions out to the international public than they are interested in selling stories to newspapers. They will use focused web sites. Centralized 'journalism' will wither and just become a forgotten cultural characteristic of the 20th century. Murdock appears to be too old, too isolated, and too rich to understand this.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by digitig (1056110)
        I think it's been a very long time since The Times has been "the anchor media of the community", except in the sense that it's sinking like an anchor (but then, they all are).
    • by Patch86 (1465427) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @06:03AM (#31638294)

      That's the same as the cover price for the physical printed edition. Which is ridiculous- who in their right mind could justify paying the same for online data as they pay for printed/shipped/delivered media?

      Surely the costs being lower should mean the price is lower, right?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Opportunist (166417)

        I guess his advisors worked for the music industry before they got fired for giving bad advice. But hey, they were cheap!

    • It'll work GREAT! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gerf (532474)
      Just look at how much better Salon.com did after their attempt. Remember them?
    • The free market is brutally efficient. In this market, the price of a good or service is determined by what it is worth.

      For example, the "Wall Street Journal" (WSJ) has excellent reporting and analysis. The WSJ is worth the price that its owners charge, so I willingly pay for a 1-year subscription to the WSJ.

      Is "The Times" worth 1 pound per day? Only the market can say for sure.

      An interesting but indirect conclusion of my observation is that if a newspaper is so rotten that only free content will a

      • by damburger (981828) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @06:44AM (#31638464)

        Market fundamentalism is funny.

        The worth of something is not handed down from on high by your god, the 'Invisible Hand'. The worth of things cannot always be quantified in monetary terms.

        Furthermore, the notion that your mythical 'market' can correctly assign prices seems to have been blown out of the water by the recent failure of that market to correctly price financial derivatives. Which is why mainstream economics doesn't actually take your kind of market-worship seriously anymore.

        • by SQL Error (16383) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @07:43AM (#31638698)

          Furthermore, the notion that your mythical 'market' can correctly assign prices seems to have been blown out of the water by the recent failure of that market to correctly price financial derivatives. Which is why mainstream economics doesn't actually take your kind of market-worship seriously anymore.

          The late unpleasantness was caused by the market correctly pricing financial derivatives. The market always works. It can take its own sweet time to correct itself, but you sure don't want to be standing in the way when it does.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by timeOday (582209)

            The late unpleasantness was caused by the market correctly pricing financial derivatives. The market always works.

            I didn't "work," it imploded. Without government intervention, the banks would have gone out of business, and everybody would have lost their life's savings. Markets are not efficient nor even sustainable when their is either too much or too little regulation.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by lgw (121541)

              It didn't "work" because of those bailouts. Without them, a few large banks would have gone out of business and nobody would have lost their life savings, except investors in those banks! The surviving banks would have learned a harsh lesson about gambling.

              My bank needed no federal handout to survive. Neither did my car company. The free market only works if idiots are allowed to fail. Otherwise, idiocy is simply propagated forever, which seems to be the current system.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by drsquare (530038)

                My bank needed no federal handout to survive. Neither did my car company.

                Actually, both of them needed bailouts to survive, even if they didn't receive any directly. When a bank goes bust, everyone there loses their savings, therefore can't buy any cars. The banks who were owed money by that bank also go bust, and more companies go bust. Millions lose their jobs and default on their mortgages, the mortgages owned by your bank which also goes bust.

                The problem with libertarianism is that its proponents have n

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by paiute (550198)

            The market always works.

            Now we just need a definition of "works".

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Eskarel (565631)

            The market always works, it just doesn't always work the way free market fundamentalists think it does.

            You are indeed right, most of the time it will eventually find the optimal situation, though like most optimizing routines it has the occasional issue with local maximums.

            The issue comes in your definition of optimal. It is perhaps true that in a truly 100% free market, optimal would really be optimal, but a truly 100% free market has not and cannot ever exist. In the absence of such perfection, you need t

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

          Furthermore, the notion that your mythical 'market' can correctly assign prices seems to have been blown out of the water by the recent failure of that market to correctly price financial derivatives.

          Why do you think that? I think the meltdown in derivative pricing was precisely the invisible hand correcting the over-valuing of those derivatives. If anything, its been the government's interference in that market correction that has slowed down the process. If Bush and then Obama had just stayed out of it instead of trying to prop it up, those prices would be in tune with reality by now.

  • I predict... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mabbo (1337229) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @04:45AM (#31637960)
    "Sir, there's something wrong with our servers, or else the reporting service. Look here, at the pageviews count. It's stuck at zero."
  • by NickFortune (613926) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @04:47AM (#31637970) Homepage Journal

    This is good. Two of Murdoch's outlets have deliberately isolated themselves from the wider discussion. I only wish he'd adopt this strategy more widely.

    • by ZDRuX (1010435)
      I was just going to say the same thing but you beat me to it..

      Personally I hope this plan fails and I'd wish his whole empire comes crumbling down like a deck of cards, along with all his friends, competitors, and everyone else in the "media" bussiness.. Yes, a bit far fetched, but I can dream :)
    • by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @05:44AM (#31638220)

      A lot of very vocal voices on the Internet hate Murdoch, and that's fine. But the reality is, his newspapers and cable channels are wildly popular -- WILDLY popular, at least in the US. They typically trounce their competition by silly-wide margins. And my gut is that there is a large percentage of Murdoch's readership who can't stomach his competition any more than you can imagine yourself watching Foxnews, and that this percentage of folks will pay. He doesn't need everyone who's reading him now to pay, just -- what's the percentage being kicked around? -- 5% or such? He gets that, he makes money, and more importantly, he trumpets that "The Paywall is a resounding success!" (Using the largest megaphone in the land, I might add.) This all but forces his competition to follow suit (let's call them the Hipster Papers...), and you know that the hipsters aren't going to pay, because, well, you're one of them, you've got your reasons. The Death Spiral of The Hipster Papers accelerates.

      Murdoch may be one Nehru Jacket shy of being a Bond Villain, but he has thought this out. It is entirely possible that in the pending media apocalypse that is online news distribution, he's the last man standing.

      • by digitig (1056110) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @06:47AM (#31638478)

        A lot of very vocal voices on the Internet hate Murdoch, and that's fine. But the reality is, his newspapers and cable channels are wildly popular -- WILDLY popular, at least in the US. They typically trounce their competition by silly-wide margins.

        That's true in the UK newspaper business [guardian.co.uk], too. But his outlet that's doing that is The Sun (circ. ~2.9 million), not The Times (circ. ~600 thousand). You will note that he's not messing with his best-selling daily title, he's messing with his worst-selling daily title.

        • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @07:24AM (#31638606) Journal
          This might actually help The Times. The Sun is a rag, but The Times used to be the paper of upper middle class conservatives. Now, it's yet another trashy tabloid in a market filled with trashy tabloids. If he can reposition it back to its original market, be might find that a smaller circulation in a market full of people with lots of disposable income is quite a profitable position - it works for Apple, after all.
  • Good luck with that (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DrXym (126579) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @04:48AM (#31637974)
    Oh dear The Times doesn't read me read their content. Oh well I guess I'll have to console myself with the many hundreds of other sites that carry substantially identical content. For example if I want right wing rhetoric with my news I can always go to The Mail or Telegraph sites or any number of blogs.
  • by bguiz (1627491) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @04:50AM (#31637984)
    because if this eventual-epic-fail causes Rupert Murdoch to lose just some of his monopoly power over the media, the world will be better off for it.
  • by the_raptor (652941) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @04:56AM (#31638010)

    For these business models to work there needs to be a decent micro-payment system. I don't want to get out my credit card for every single website, especially for small amounts, and don't want to pay a subscription for a service I don't know if I will regularly use. Paypal is currently the only real player, and in my opinion they are a bunch of crooks who are playing legal games to avoid having banking regulations applied to them and subsequently having their dirty laundry aired.

    National and international banking systems need to get together and figure out a proper micro-payment system (with amount limits so dodgy websites can't drain your account) before this sort of business model will take off. I might be tempted to pay 10 cents to read an article, but not if I have to pull out my credit card on the spot or sign up for a subscription first. Instead what will happen is regular users will sign up and everyone else will go to the free sites. The results being the regulars pay more to cover the running costs and possibly the failure of the website to sustain itself due to loss of ad revenue.

    • figure out a proper micro-payment system

      Isn't that what itunes is?

      • iTunes isn't the web. And I would also rather avoid giving Apple a slice of the money I am trying to give to someone else, just as I avoid giving a large slice to PayPal.

      • by tepples (727027)
        iTunes requires that all things that the user pays for be hosted by Apple. I understood the_raptor's comment to mean that there needs to be a micropayment system used by several different merchants.
  • by GC (19160)

    Not that anyone will necessarily listen to me, though obviously they must be listening to Rupert.

    I have not bought a newspaper, watched Sky (for anything other than football) for the best part of seven years. Why the hell do they think that I might get my credit card out in order to listen what they have to say, they should pay me for the benefit of listening to them.

  • by retech (1228598) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @04:57AM (#31638018)
    I bet that failblog, once posting Murdoch's photo, will have a higher hit count than the Times.
  • by gruntled (107194) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @04:57AM (#31638022)

    ...before Murdoch destroyed one of the greatest newspapers in the world. I'd gladly pay to read the NYT or the Washington Post online, just as I've paid for the WSJ online for a decade, but pay to read Murdoch's crap? Heck, I'd gladly pay money to keep it from showing up in my search results.

    • by jonatha (204526) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @05:05AM (#31638062)

      ...before Murdoch destroyed one of the greatest newspapers in the world. I'd gladly pay to read the NYT or the Washington Post online, just as I've paid for the WSJ online for a decade, but pay to read Murdoch's crap? Heck, I'd gladly pay money to keep it from showing up in my search results.

      Murdoch's crap now includes the WSJ. Just sayin....

      • by gruntled (107194)

        Yes, good point, but he hasn't yet destroyed the WSJ.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Nimey (114278)

          Have you checked what comes up from the WSJ on Google News since the takeover? Biased right-wing crap.

  • Murdoch (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MrKaos (858439) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @05:07AM (#31638078) Journal

    Back in the day, when Murdoch started in Australia, his commercial rival was Kerry Packer. Both of them lobbied hard to have media cross ownership laws broken down so they eventually ended up owning most of the Australian media outlets (newspapers and such like). Murdoch left Australia, where his base company Publishing and Broadcast Limited was formed after establishing a strong commercial base with Fox in the US. Murdoch is grooming his son to take over, and he seems even scarier than dad.

    Meanwhile, back in Au, Packer died and his son took over who ended up selling off his Broadcast and Publishing businesses to get into Casinos.

    The void left behind is utterly bland, and the media cross ownership laws left behind have just allowed companies interested in asset stripping to come in and, well, do what they do.

    The only interesting media is Publicly owned, and I hope the BBC will reverse their decision to back away from internet media. It's that kind of thinking that is the future. It's probably time for these old commercial medias to die off anyway having seen what they look like when they die. The irony in all this was to watch the public broadcasters point out that some PBL papers were plagiarising peoples weblogs at the very time Murdoch was talking of paywalls. If they can't develop original content, people will see it's crap, Faux looses advertising revenue and Murdoch just put another nail in commercial media's coffin.

    It will be interesting to watch this comedy play out.

  • The Guardian (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joe Jay Bee (1151309) <jbsouthseaNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday March 27, 2010 @05:08AM (#31638084)

    Thankfully, the Guardian [guardian.co.uk], which has far superior journalism and doesn't seek to ram politics down everyone's throats in "news" stories like News International's papers do (people often talk of the paper being liberal, which on its comments pages is largely true, but they do a good job of keeping it out of their news reporting), remains free for everyone with an extensive back archive. And of course the BBC exists too... thank God.

    I can only echo the poster above who said he hopes Murdoch puts up more paywalls. Murdoch's shitty reporting and deliberately biased and bigoted publications have ruined political discourse in this country.

    • Re:The Guardian (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Adlopa (686151) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @05:59AM (#31638270)

      The Guardian is indeed an excellent source of free news, but with pre-tax losses of nearly $134m [pressgazette.co.uk] last year, it's anyone's guess how long that will last.

      The BBC isn't in the same boat, of course, since it's funded by British licence fee payers, but should the Conservatives win the next general election, its operation also looks set [newstatesman.com] to be scaled back considerably.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by knaapie (214889)

      What people tend to forget is that any newsoutlet needs to pay for the content they deliver, either through paying journalists or through paying press agencies. Because newspapers do not get enough money from advertising, they currently need to let journalists go. Press agencies need to lower prices as well, because newspapers expect more for less. The current business model is not maintainable, everyone is losing. Most of all the readers, who are more and more getting the exact same news from any paper, wi

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dwandy (907337)

        You may not like paying for your news, in the end someone has to pay for it...

        Historically all we (consumers) paid for was the paper, ink and delivery. The content was paid for by advertising revenue - this hasn't changed: we pay the ISP for the delivery and it's electric ink and paper.
        There is no reason why we can't continue to get all our news in this model. Indefinitely.

        The current business model is not maintainable, everyone is losing. Most of all the readers, who are more and more getting the exact s

    • by jbb999 (758019)
      The guardian? Don't make me laugh! They are probably the least objective newspaper in the UK. They have a huge agenda of pushing public services and the taxes to pay for them
    • by jimicus (737525)

      IIRC the Grauniad is losing money hand over fist. Believe me, if this works they'll be next on the bandwagon.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)

      I read The Guardian and consider myself pretty left-wing on most issues, but their bias sometimes makes me cringe. They do provide some interesting coverage, but they're nowhere near as objective as the BBC, for example, and even further away from a hypothetical unbiased news source.

      I used to read The Times, because it's easier to filter out bias when it's bias that you disagree with, but I stopped when it went beyond bias and into just talking drivel.

    • Re:The Guardian (Score:5, Interesting)

      by williamhb (758070) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @08:26AM (#31638954) Journal

      Thankfully, the Guardian, which has far superior journalism and doesn't seek to ram politics down everyone's throats in "news" stories like News International's papers do (people often talk of the paper being liberal, which on its comments pages is largely true, but they do a good job of keeping it out of their news reporting)

      That generally just means their political bent matches yours, so you don't notice it as much as in the papers you disagree with. In 1992, the Scott Trust (The Guardian's owner) explicitly declared "remaining faithful to liberal tradition" as part of its central objective for The Guardian. So it's not just "largely true"; it's part of the mission.

      While US newspapers make a big palaver about their news reporting being politically neutral and objective, UK newspapers do not -- in the UK there is much greater recognition that the choice of what news to report is itself affected by the editor's political beliefs (what they consider important), so there can be no such thing as a politically neutral paper even if the articles are written in dry matter-of-fact language. Rather than trying to pretend to be above all that, the UK papers are instead fairly open about their editorial biases, and it's well known which ones lean towards which readerships -- for example the famous Yes Minister [wikipedia.org] quote. Similarly, where I used to work we often found ourselves commenting in the tea room "The Independent is leading with a story on global warming. It must be Thursday." In short, the UK papers care about editorial independence but not neutrality.

      The exception, of course, is the BBC, which has a legislative requirement to portray a "balanced" view on any political matter.

  • If only... (Score:5, Funny)

    by retech (1228598) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @05:08AM (#31638086)
    I wish Murdoch would charge us £1 per time we want to hear him speak. We'd thankfully have the man silenced forever.
  • ...and other media outlets will follow it. The fact that Murdoch has an agenda doesn't mean that he doesn't understand his business.

    If you want to see what happens to the effort put into journalism in newspapers paid for by advertising alone, you have centuries of precedent. You have to ask yourself: who is your customer? The person who reads your paper, or the person who buys advertising space? To produce a newspaper/web site designed to increase the number of views/clicks of adverts is a very different sk

  • 5%... possible? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by slim (1652) <john@hartnup3.14.net minus pi> on Saturday March 27, 2010 @05:18AM (#31638120) Homepage

    It's hinted in the article -- and I've seen it elsewhere -- that if they retain 5% of their current online readership, that counts as a win.

    That's a small enough number that my instinct ("Nobody'll pay for it") doesn't feel all that reliable.

    Is it just about possible that 5% will pay? I think it's unlikely, but not completely impossible. It'll be interesting to see, that's for sure.

    • And remember that £1 and £2 are the 'starting' prices. They won't go down and only small increments will mean that the 5% win will have only to be a 4..3..2..1% win.
    • by bazorg (911295)
      Well, if instead of calling them "newspapers" they name their product "News ringtone" or "iPhone News App", then they can expect millions of units to sell for £1 each.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ScaryTom (1057310)
      If the readership drops to 5% of its current number, won't that put advertisers off a bit? Or have they factored that into their pricing strategy?
  • by flyingfsck (986395) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @05:47AM (#31638242)
    Newspaper paywalls already failed in other countries. Why would it work in the UK? Papers make money from advertising. Asking the readers to pay will drive them away and the advertisers will follow shortly after.
  • What Murdoch and the rest of the 'Content Kings' don't get is that content is no longer king.

    These guys should be happy that they are getting my attention - that I'm literally paying them attention. You want me to pay money on top of me paying attention? Forget it. The whole world has a press now and there are millions of people out there - with interesting or intelligent or entertaining or titillating or whatever content - that would be just happy for me to paying them attention.

    Murdoch seems to be attempting to hypnotise the public into thinking we need his stuff so badly we'll be prepared to pay for it. We don't.

  • This is great!!! (Score:4, Informative)

    by iCantSpell (1162581) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @06:12AM (#31638336)
    Pay walled news is the best thing that could happen to the news industry. Now people will go looking for news elsewhere and they will actually find NEWS. *cough*http://www.unknownnews.org/*cough*
  • Let me get this straight: You want me to pay a buck a day to cram your propaganda down my throat?

    *collapses in a twitching, giggling heap on the floor again*

    If you can sell that, get a few fences to paint, you could make a killing!

  • Why it won't work (Score:3, Insightful)

    by geegel (1587009) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @06:53AM (#31638506)

    Due to the fact that "The Times" has quite a reputation, in the initial stage the scheme will be a relative success. As time goes by however, the paywall will show its ugly teeth. No more external links driving traffic and no more SERPs in Google.

    Paywalls fail not because they make people pay, they fail because they effectively isolate the website from the rest of the web.

Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious animal on earth.

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