We wrote only this week about the poor figure The Times had since their paywall went up and now sister papers, the Sun and The News of The World, appear to be moving towards implementing their own paywall policy in October. Some would say why not and better to get the cash in the door than give it away free. Others would point to the poor figures from the Times paywall and ask, is it wise.com?
The material in the Sun and The News of The World isn’t highbrow or necessarily intellectually stimulating and therefore it could be said that advertising would be a better route to get revenues. However, if readership numbers online tumble, the adveristing will surely follow in the same direction.
Some believe that the video and celeb trash stories will still generate readership and after all the Sun and The News of The World have lived on the back of this for ever.
It appears the Murdoch is determined to erect his paywall.
Meanwhile the New York Times still is to implement its promised paywall but it apparently testing a paywall on the Telegram & Gazette in Worcester, MA. The paper hides certain local content behind the paywall and gives the rest away. The theory obviously is that local content is valuable. Interesting thought in today's internet world.
My feeling is that as more and more iPad clones hit the streets more and more newspapers will erect the paywalls. Reading a newspaper (physically) using an iPad or an Android clone will be roughly the same as reading it in its paper edition. Combine this with the fact that the government has put pressure on the BBC to rein in its online contact makes the future of free news content a trifle shaky. However, there is something of a delightful evolutionary nature within the Internet which may develop into a more structured version of Wikipedia, say WikiNewsContent, where the retired, the interested the young who want to become journalists and others produce news articles that they have read in the paper version. Needs a lot of commitment (get up in the morning and write 500 words) but possible.
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