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back to article Times websites want £1 a day from June

The Times and the Sunday Times are set to charge for access to their websites from June. Rupert Murdoch said in August last year he wanted to charge for all his sites, though in November he suggested the firm could miss the June deadline. Rebekah Brooks, chief executive at News International, said: “These new sites, and the …

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Grenade

Fuck off

Just fuck off

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Coincidence?

Is this in any way associated with the cutbacks announced a month ago, which El Reg headlined as "BBC to ... halve websites in painful biz review"?

Alexa ranks the BBC at No. 44. Even though presently free, the Times Online is 433.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/02/26/bbc_axe_6music_asian_network_says_report/

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Pfft

Screw that.

Actually I might consider it if it was advert free. If I read the Times in the first place...

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Coat

This calls for an old joke

The Light Brigade made less ridiculous charges.

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FAIL

Cometh the hour

... cometh the paywall.

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Big Brother

End of the Times

Well, I have to say that I often enjoy reading the odd article on The Times website, but charging £1 a day for it - for casual readers that's £1 per article... is absolute insanity. I agree with the above statements that £104/year for the news most of which can be read on the BBC for the cost of the license fee shows just how out of touch news corp has become.

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So who's your money on ?

The Times website a £1 per day vs. The Independent (bought for £1) being turned in a free paper.

Which one do you think will last longer?

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Struggling newspaper industry?

Where? It closed down years ago!

Are you talking about the not very glossy fashion, opinion and media automasturbation things that replaced them with the same names?

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Happy

The Internet routes around damage...

... and any attempt to block access acts like a form of damage on the Internet.

So Murdoch's old control freak attitude won't work in this brave new world of the Internet. Back when he could control distribution of news via controlling physical paper distribution, he was happy. But now ironically all he is going to do is make his competitors very happy, as he will be pushing more readers to them! :)

These control freak people like Murdoch never give up. The thing is, every attempt at control creates a pressure for change away from that control, which ultimately bypasses their control. I guess thats why they feel they never have enough control, because they feel (and fear) that control slowly slipping away.

Well at least his competitors will be very happy with the extra traffic and they will enjoy telling prospective new readers that his papers are a rip off so read their stuff instead. :)

(Murdoch is an old media dinosaur who doesn't get it that these days he needs to encourage like minded people to him, by aggregating the vast sea of news stories into a way to attract like minded people instead of constantly seeking ways to control people).

Good bye Murdoch, you are old news.

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Anonymous Coward

OK but...

You need to get inside his brain to understand.

You know his attitude to the BBC and the licence fee or wants the fee abolishing so that the BBC have to raise money by advertising or subscription charges? Well work the same logic into his charging for his websites. His next move will be to try to force the competition to charge for their content.

Recently I've wondered exactly where Roop was going with the licence fee thing. I couldn't see how he ever hoped to get a share of the fee, now I wonder if he wasn't just trying to get UK.gov to change the rules so that the Beeb couldn't fund their website with the licence fee. And of course it's just a coincidence that he always planned to start charging after the general election. After all his pro-Tory election coverage wouldn't reach so many people if they had to pay to reach it, so Cameron wouldn't be his friend if he'd started charging today.

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FAIL

Hey Murdoch

No-one cares.

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BBC cuts

Whilst I agree that the BBC probabaly could do with cutting several channels to drive up the overall quality of output, I can't really see Murdoch winning any "competition" claim he might choose to make.

As the BBC state, their service is a national organisation owned for and paid for by the people.As one of those owners I'd certainly be lobbying (as should everyone else) that this cannot be allowed to happen.

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Pint

Goodbye. Au revoir. Adios. Auf Wiedersehen

The sooner Mudoch's vile propaganda is put away behind lock and key the better for everyone.

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WTF?

Are you sure you've got that right?

...since when was The Times 'vile propoganda"? Get a grip, FFS.

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Troll

Are you sure you've got that right?

Yes, to be fair like most so called "journalists" these days, Murdochs Minions appear to simply regurgitate whatever junk they are spoonfeed.

Vehicle for propaganda (cab for hire?) is probably more accurate.

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Troll

It is propaganda, too.

It is a load of anti-Labour tosh these days, with a few honourable exceptions (David Aaronovitch's contrarian bent is quite movingly turned against his colleagues these days), and the broad political church of yore is completely silent all across its left.

I will miss the Times's fora full of frothing right-wing and no doubt unemployed commentards, and the moderators, half of whom spike every anti-Tory comment (although it is fun trying to sneak arrant nonsense into pseudo-UKIP rants).

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Anonymous Coward

Same old story

So I can read the same news on a hundred different website, but one of them is to start charging £365/year for it. Where's the additional value?

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FAIL

The fail is for Rupert, but to be fair I should point out that the figure you are railing against should be £104 per year (£2 x 52 weeks)

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Oooo great

£1 a day for The Sun stories with slightly more eloquent language. Fantastic. Bargain. No, really. Sign me up now. Twat.

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>plonk< HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAAA

That is the sound of the Times falling out of my bookmarks while I laugh hysterically. I doubt the Times has a strong enough USP to survive in a marketplace filled with non paid competition.

@Ralph 5 : "Advertising is sometimes a reasonable tradeoff, but I'd rather have quality content I paid for than have advertising in my face all day."

Ah yes, but that's the point isn't it ? Murdoch's entire business model revolves around the fact that he wants you to pay for 'quality' content AND have advertising in your face all day. You pay him so that he can charge advertisers for your eyeballs. Well fuck right off with that.

For some reason, enough people have fallen for this to make him exceedingly rich, but I will remain a refusenik until he picks one or the other, which will be never.

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Moz
FAIL

Rebekaaaaaagh

"Rebekah Brooks, chief executive at 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 ... "

Yeah, a bit like she delivered a "terrific experience" to Ross Kemp's head. And was arrested for it.

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A polite suggestion

Fuck off murdick.

But,

We buy the Sunday Times each week, generally because some of the journalism is top-notch and they have done a lot to expose nulaybores failings/shortcomings/dirty-handedness/corruption/lying/grovelling............

Surely in this technogically "advanced" age they could print a unique code within each copy allowing those that purchase the print edition to have access to that edition. With a unique code any attempts to spread it could be nipped in the bud and only the first user code read the website.

Having said that, I'm more of an Independent chap myself and look forward to what Lebedev may do with that paper.

Please don't flame me for my choice of paper ;)

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Megaphone

Re: Unique Codes

What would prevent people from just noting the code and using it without buying the paper? Anyway, subscribers to the paper get free access to the web site.

I would accept the following:

- free summaries of all articles (e.g., 2 paragraphs)

- first two or three articles each day free

- £2 a week for unlimited access (no daily charge, but monthly/yearly deals)

- articles over a week old free

- no adverts on paid-for content

- access controlled by username/password combo

(of course, the above is for _decent_ news sites - I wouldn't pay for Murdoch's stuff)

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Yes - but

Subscribers can't opt out of the Sunday Times. There's enough in Saturday's to keep you going over the weekend, why do you ned a Sunday paper as well?

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FAIL

It'll save 'em money!

They can replace all the content with one page containing a Flash video of tumbleweeds blowing around with the wind whistling in the background.

It'd be a great gag and a right, royal shame that nobody would ever see it......

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Anonymous Coward

Interesting

Apparently there's a good chance that the Indy is going to become a free sheet soon. So the Indy are looking at letting you have the paper for nowt while NI want to charge for web content. From most of NI's output it seems that the websites are just there to tell you to buy the paper if you want more detail. I can see them rolling this one back within a few months.

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Megaphone

wont pay

Havn't bought anything from Murdoch since he cheated redundancy money due to the Fleet St printers using underhand tactics, by putting them in a position where they had no alternative but to strike. He then sacked them as he'd previously intended, having secretly built the replacement Wapping plant . I'm not going to buy anything from him now. My sister will simply have to copy me the letters she gets published in his filthy rag if she wants me to read them.

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ahem *sings*

Come gather 'round people wherever you be

Who read all your news on the internet free

And accept it from June the Times paywall will be.

If your news to you is worth savin'

Then you better start usin' the old BBC

For the Times they are a-chargin'.

(with apologies to Bob Dylan)

Yes I know the BBC website comes out of my TV licence, but I don't care, that wouldn't have scanned properly.

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Anonymous Coward

Brilliant

... and a very apt choice. Well done sir.

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someone tell them to turn the lights off...

...when they leave.

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Charlie Brooker had it right!

Magic coins is the way to do it, read it here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/aug/10/charlie-brooker-iphone

(iPhone owners may want to skip the first half of the article ;-) )

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FAIL

Wow

That's the most crushingly ironic article ever written - does Brooker not realise that Apple HAVE made a huge success out of micro-payments with the iPhone? Sadly, like all iPhone/Mac refusniks, he seems know not of what he speaks. Funny, though

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Anonymous Coward

Content=Money

That's how Roop has always thought. The internet model is pretty much like the free newspaper model or the normal commercial TV model. That is to say you make your money by advertising.

Roop wants everything to work from the sattelite TV model. That's the one where you charge for access to your content *and* make money from advertising. Actually he also wants a share of the licence fee on top of that. No, really. He thinks he should get a big wodge of the TV licence fee while continuing to charge for content and run advertising.

On the internet he's going to learn the hard way. For fifteen years there have been sites that thought they could charge and have failed to make any money, either folding or changing over to the advertising funded model. Look at Friends Reunited, if that had been free from day 1 it would be absolutely huge now. Charging for contact details it what destroyed it. People just found alternatives rather than coughing up. So they used the site to find people and then found other ways to get in touch.

I suspect that most people who currently use the Times site heavilly will soon find that there are other sites that give them what they want. Sure they may miss one or two columnists or regular featues, but mostly they'll find equally interesting things on other sites. The problem is that Roop is one of those people who will think he gets X visitors per week now so thats £104X per year income. Of course that's nonesense. For a start X will be too high since the same people will be visiting from different IP addresses throughout the week. But the main thing is that you can expect to lose at least half your customers when you start charging for something that was previously free.

He's got a lot in common with the idiots in the record industry who think that if you can stop X "illegal" downloads of an album you will automatically sell X copies of the album.

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Stop

Its his fault`

Newspapers create climate of fear around children

Children dont go out as much

Children dont have paper rounds

Papers dont get circulated

People dont buy them

If I could have a paper on my doorstep by 8.30 am id think about it (you know in paper format). But I believe that this is now too expensive since the reduction in "child labor"

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One good reason I won't miss it

When Andrew Neil took over as editor of the Sunday Times after Murdoch bought it, there was an editorial meeting in which he is supposed to have said something to the effect of 'I want to turn this paper into something showing pictures of successful businessmen around their weekend barbecues' (according, I think, to Don McCullin). That's pretty much what then happened to the ST and the daily; both were abandoned by their better journos, and what had been reasonable newspapers were reduced to window dressing for ads by the smug for the even smugger. Both can only now be described as the Sun for educated wankers.

I'd love to say that I wish them well, but I really don't. It would be even nicer to think think this would be the beginning of the end for Rupe's empire, but while I think he'll end up with toasty fingers, there might just be enough right wing sycophants needing intellectual justification for their phobias to break even on the lost ad revenue.

Ah well, at least it'll reduce their bandwidth bill, and keep the grubby oiks out of their comments.

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Anonymous Coward

oh look, up-voted

Looks like some left wing sycophants have intellectually justified your phobias, that must be a relief.

I don't think Murdoch wants to keep grubby oiks away - they're pretty much his target audience for some of his stuff, no?

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Anonymous Coward

You can't blame them for trying but..

.. very few people will pay for something that they're used to having for free for so long - especially as the quality of many of his rags means they're hardly crucial viewing.

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Times websites want £1 a day from June

What they WANT and what they GET will be two different things.

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FAIL

Bwahahaha

Not going to work. People will get their news elsewhere.

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FAIL

Apologies in advance

But I can't think of a polite way to say "Go F**k yourself!"

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£2 a week is fair value

Well sure £1 a day sounds expensive but £2 for a full week is fair value if you are a regular Times reader. I would hope for that £2 a week they could deliver an iPad version of the online newspaper to my device.

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FAIL

Two words

Hitler Diaries :)

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Grenade

Freetards

Rather than missing the point and either 1) bleating on about how awful Murdoch and his methods are or 2) how awful Murdoch's papers are, surely the more interesting debate is how and whether to pay for content? It's more interesting than the first two because they are only matters of opinion anyway.

All the people saying "it'll fail because no-one will pay" or "it should be free cos everything on the internet is free" should think about the quality of the end result. If something is free then either it has a near-zero production cost (and for journalism, that might well mean it is has zero value) or it is paid for out of earnings from other sources (endless adverts, whatever). In the latter case, is there enough profit to be had without charging as well?

Pay a reasonably-priced subscription and get something better (i.e. more intelligent, more interesting, more incisive) than the trash you get in a free newspaper? Not very web2.0 but actually doesn't seem so weird or unlikely to me.

But I think I am just badly rehashing Mr Orlowski's arguments, only without resorting (as much) to personal attacks and bitching like a waspish old queen. Except I just did.

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FAIL

done it before

I worked at the FT and WSJ (Dow Jones) newspapers when they tried online pricing models in the 90's. Both saw immense drops in readership. Both changed back to majority-free content.

Even though both papers were more niche than The Times, and both offered market data (which financial pro's are used to paying for) - there just wasn't enough volume of readership to make it work out.

I heard a scare story from another paper (not named) that spent millions for a paid content section only to have 30-odd people sign up.

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Anonymous Coward

done it before

> I heard a scare story from another paper (not named) that spent millions for a paid content section only to have 30-odd people sign up.

Is that efinancial news you're talking about?

The people who cashed out on that when they sold to News Corp must have been laughing all the way to the bank.

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Dead Vulture

An Oscar performance too

http://www.observer.com/2010/media/after-three-months-only-35-subscriptions-newsdays-web-site

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Joke

£1 a day for this little comedy gem?

If this was June and you hadn't paid a quid or two, you'd have missed out on this (unintentional?) mistake.

Article Title + Author = Comedy Gold!!!

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article7065824.ece

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Coffee/keyboard

Priceless.

Well, it is at the moment anyway.

The new keyboard's going to set me back a few quid though.

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Coffee/keyboard

This beer's for you...

Oh, that's just classic - very well spotted sir! :D

£1 _a day_ for the Sun or Times - what planet did the bozo who came up with that come from? So basically they're saying that the Sun's website is worth more than twice the cost of the _entire_ output of the BBC. Aye right - in your dreams pal!

Although it won't effect me since I think it was six months, at least, since I visited either of the Sun/Times websites, (apart from to check out that link just now of course).

Now I'm off to clean the coffee spray off my laptop...

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Paywall?

Why not stick all his crap behind a closed firewall instead?

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