Times announces plans to charge £1 per day for website access

News International (NI), the owner of The Times and Sunday Times newspapers, has announced plans to charge users for access to their websites from June.

Users who wish to access online content from The Times and Sunday Times will be charged £1 per day or £2 for a weeks access. According to the BBC News, NI chief executive Rebekah Brooks said it was "a crucial step towards making the business of news an economically exciting proposition".

The move comes nearly eight months after News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch, who owns subsidary News International, announced plans to charge users for online news content. News Corp is the world's second-largest media conglomerate after Walt Disney and controls a vast network of news sites including The Sun, The Times and the Wall Street Journal. News Corp is looking for new ways to bring in the cash, having taken large losses last year, and charging for their online news websites is one of them.

In late 2009, Murdoch began a war of words with Google, accusing the search giant of "kleptomania" and being a "parasite" for including bits of articles from Murdoch's news websites in its free Google News service. According to the Guardian, when Murdoch was questioned why they hadn't simply opted to remove their websites from Google's search indexes, he said it was on the cards.

With today's announcements it remains to be seen exactly how many will pay for access to The Times, which is clearly a trial run before we see other News Corp entities moving to subscription models. The question is, will you pay? Vote in our poll on the right or leave a comment below.

Poll

Will you pay for access to The Times website?

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Verizon to launch app store

Next Story

"World Premiere" of Microsoft's Project Natal at E3 2010

62 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

This is totally retarded. 1 Pound per day?! The subscription price for the actual paper that gets delivered by mail is 3.50 per week for the first 12 weeks, and 6 pounds for the weeks after that.

So according to Times, a printed and distributed paper is cheaper than an online paper? Are they out of their minds?

RuuddieBoy said,
This is totally retarded. 1 Pound per day?! The subscription price for the actual paper that gets delivered by mail is 3.50 per week for the first 12 weeks, and 6 pounds for the weeks after that.

So according to Times, a printed and distributed paper is cheaper than an online paper? Are they out of their minds?

I'm not 100% sure.. but I'm sure they get more ad revenue from the printed stuff than they do from the online content.

enjoy your <200 if that readers and minimum profits to pay one persons wages for a month lol this model in rupert murdochs infinite out of touch wisdom this business model doesn't work and never will.

I nearly lol'd out of my chair at the idea.

I'm sure they could find a way to block/stop the aggregate without having to resort to this, or perhaps come to some sort of compromise. For example, if Google only had headlines but linked people back to their site, it could stand to bring in more hits.

Printed newspapers are heavily subsidised by adverts, in some cases, completely subsidised. I see no reason that online news sites can not follow this model, especially since the server costs are probably far less than the costs of printing and distributing papers.

I like the idea of offering premium services, but, what can they offer that you'd want? And will any income generated cover the costs of those services AND the free content?

Whatever happens, the old ways of doing news are dying out. News corporations need to shape up and get with 'it' if they are to survive - they need to offer something special. With Twitter, Facebook, and a million other websites all offering news, why would you ever pay?

With Twitter, Facebook, and a million other websites all offering news, why would you ever pay?

Facebook and twitter offers news?

Me thinks someone is confused, though I do agree with the rest of your post.

/- Razorfold said,

Facebook and twitter offers news?

Me thinks someone is confused, though I do agree with the rest of your post.

Twitter provides real time news.

/- Razorfold said,
Facebook and twitter offers news?

Me thinks someone is confused, though I do agree with the rest of your post.


I get pretty much all my news from Facebook and Twitter...

Maybe 10p a day would be reasonable, but as usual in Britain we get stiffed. It seems we get charged triple the cost compared to most other countries, just my consensus.

It's the aggregation that's killing them and making them unable to function without a subscription. Still in no way am I supporting this move, £1 a day... good luck with that.

The thing is eventually you will have to pay for any online news. The AP is where most news comes from . Even from places like google.

Once the AP starts charging there won't be anywhere to get news from online.

majortom1981 said,
The thing is eventually you will have to pay for any online news. The AP is where most news comes from . Even from places like google.

Once the AP starts charging there won't be anywhere to get news from online.

Unless you own a UK TV Licence, in which case BBC will continue to be free at source. OK, we've paid for it yearly instead, but why would I pay to visit a news site when I've already paid for one?

Problem is guys that Murdoch and his buddies are putting pressure on the government (and possible next one) to force the scaling back of the BBC, especially the website.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8546722.stm
This is because Murdoch knows people will just go to the BBC website rather than pay for his politically driven news.
I dont think it will ever work and Murdoch can go to hell.

The only way you can charge money for something on a market where there are free alternatives is if you offer more value. I simply can't imagine that the content on that sites would be more valuable to someone than the content on some of the free sites. I think this is a stupid business model not suited for the post-industrial society. It will fail 100%.

Yes, most of us who want free, and fairly unbiased, news, go to the BBC anyway. £1 a day is quite a lot, but remember that a large number of those subscribers will be business people who can claim it on expenses. Nobody minds charging that sort of money to their company, after all. And being a Conservative newspaper, we can surmise that many of its casual readers are affluent enough to afford it anyway...

Oh well, i'll just stick to BBC and the Guardian sites. I mainly go on for the sports news anyway.

At least the Guardian site is entertaining with Youtube sports archive, Rumour Mill, and some of the comments on the blogs

Pikey said,
So hands up then .. who actually visits The Times web site then?


Anybody?

Never been there as an initial starting point, but I do often end up there through Stumbleupon and links in blogs.

Pikey said,
So hands up then .. who actually visits The Times web site then?


Anybody?

everyday on my lunch break. cant justify paying for it though with other websites offering similar content. shame though.

Majesticmerc said,

Google news will suffer from this, since it will lose one of its news sources.

The loss of The Times will not matter as there's plenty of other sources of news.

Massive Fail. There is too much free information as an alternative, and for me, the Times is not giving you anywhere near enough to warrant charging.

Regards,

White
(Ex subscriber to dead tree edition - cancelled when subs went up by 50%)

I pay (much) less than that for my entire internet connection. People need to not buy into this idea (literally), because if you do everyone everywhere will start charging for everything.

Wow just wow, with russian biollionaires buyign news papers like th evening standarded and giving them away for free the times 1 quid a day for access sounds utterly retarded, nice going murdoch lol

Yeah even my daily news from a physical source comes from a free paper (Evening Standard, although i preferred thelondonpaper ) so i don't see myself paying for an online source.

If they introduced a single one off payment for access it would be better. Along the lines of the model involved with the Guardian iPhone app for instance.

Haha, charge £1 for a load of one-sided drible that's probably influencing the scummy conservatives into power? This has to be the worst joke ever ! The times for failure of the year.

n_K said,
Haha, charge £1 for a load of one-sided drible that's probably influencing the scummy conservatives into power?

So when the one-sided drible [sic] was probably influencing the scummy labour to remain in power that was alright?

I don't read national newspapers, but, if I did, I would prefer to purchase the newspaper so I can

use the newspaper for cat litter or mache when done.

leesmithg said,
I don't read national newspapers, but, if I did, I would prefer to purchase the newspaper so I can

use the newspaper for cat litter or mache when done.

They do sell paper for the purpose of that, which can be much cheaper to produce since there isn't ink or work done to make ink on there.

I think this will fail. The problem is its been free for so long that people do not see why they should now pay. If it was a pay model from day one then i think it may have worked. The only way I can see it working is by them adding value added content you can only get form the website etc?? but who knows??

Not a major issue for me quite frankly, BBC News Website is enough for me. Newspaper websites seem to be filled with irelevant news and self-absorbed journalists writing their little blogs...

LynxMukka said,
Not a major issue for me quite frankly, BBC News Website is enough for me. Newspaper websites seem to be filled with irelevant news and self-absorbed journalists writing their little blogs...

Actually the Times columnists tend to be great. I will hugely miss trawling through Giles Coren's reviews, Caitlin Moran's comments etc.

I won't miss them enough to pay £1 for every day it strikes me to have a look, however.

macf13nd said,

Actually the Times columnists tend to be great. I will hugely miss trawling through Giles Coren's reviews, Caitlin Moran's comments etc.

I won't miss them enough to pay £1 for every day it strikes me to have a look, however.


Yeah I agree they are good. I think some may pay £1 for exclusive content but this will be largely unsuccessful.

macf13nd said,

Actually the Times columnists tend to be great. I will hugely miss trawling through Giles Coren's reviews, Caitlin Moran's comments etc.

I won't miss them enough to pay £1 for every day it strikes me to have a look, however.

Yeeah i enjoy mr coren as well. same with aa gill - always a pleasure.great science coverage also. even though i read the site everyday and iwill not be subscribing

"economically exciting proposition" - stupidly during a time when it's hard enough to buy a loaf of bread...

I just hope Neowin doesn't open out a magazine then start charging us for both sources. Ridiculous!

James Brooks said,
I just hope Neowin doesn't open out a magazine then start charging us for both sources. Ridiculous!

Hmm...good idea!

Tom W said,

Of course

Thing is, I can quite easily see Neowin making some money from that. Whether you morally should or not - well that's two different things.

James Brooks said,

Thing is, I can quite easily see Neowin making some money from that. Whether you morally should or not - well that's two different things.

Well, it's definitely not below them. I mean, they charge for the premium subsciption/ad free stuff.... Who knows, maybe some day soon, it could happen. I doubt it, but to be honest, it almost never surprises me how far some businesses will go to make a buck.

Dr. Albert Spamstein said,
Well, it's definitely not below them. I mean, they charge for the premium subsciption/ad free stuff.... Who knows, maybe some day soon, it could happen. I doubt it, but to be honest, it almost never surprises me how far some businesses will go to make a buck.

Either we support them indirectly by seeing their ads, or we support them directly and skip the ads. Unfortunately, websites are not free to run. On top of that, they have to be paid for what they do--while I am sure that they enjoy publishing the news for us, they do it for side money.

With that said, the prevalence of Flash based ads are making it very tempting to start blocking them.

pickypg said,

Either we support them indirectly by seeing their ads, or we support them directly and skip the ads. Unfortunately, websites are not free to run. On top of that, they have to be paid for what they do--while I am sure that they enjoy publishing the news for us, they do it for side money.

With that said, the prevalence of Flash based ads are making it very tempting to start blocking them.

Good post. A lot of tech geeks think content providers should provide content out of the goodness of their hearts. I've got news - for a lot of these people, it's their JOB. To all those who want free, would you work for free? I didn't think so.

The bottom line, is web sites have to be supported. You can pay, or you can look at ads. Personally I pick the latter every time. It's easier to look at (and mostly ignore) some ads than it is to pay for web sites. Heck, even if the price is dirt cheap, the time involved in signing up for every single site I might look at and putting in payment info alone makes ads the better option.

Dr. Albert Spamstein said,

Well, it's definitely not below them. I mean, they charge for the premium subsciption/ad free stuff.... Who knows, maybe some day soon, it could happen. I doubt it, but to be honest, it almost never surprises me how far some businesses will go to make a buck.

Subscription is optional. I see it as more of a donation for which you get some nice benefits. You can enjoy this website to it's fullest for free, or if you wish to support it a little, you can donate and get some perks. So it's nothing even remotely like 'trying to make a quick buck' or milk it's users for money. I find it odd that you yourself are a subscriber yet talk down about it.