Pay to view

The Times recently made a bold move by charging for its online content and the stats already show a decline in readership. While an initial dip in paying readers should be expected, the fact remains that both national and regional newspapers are rapidly losing advertising revenue. So, they need to take quite radical action to survive in the long-term. It would seem that a sea change across the board needs to occur if they are going to save their skins. The question is, ‘is The Times’ move enough to encourage other publishers to do the same?’

Of course the obvious answer is ‘no’ as the competition relishes in defecting Times readers who are unwilling to pay. But how can a charging model work, especially for a non-specialist newspaper? No one likes to pay for something that was previously free, especially if they can get pretty much the same information from a competitive newspaper. There is a huge challenge ahead for the industry in terms of overcoming readers’ ingrained expectations to consume online information for free.

Quite how the industry is going to do this is still up for debate and I’m watching this space with interest!

Tags: , ,