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

View more comments

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%.

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.

tuxplorer said,
No one would understand this except those whose livelihood depends on this and they're losing money because of Google's free everything and free aggregated everything so those original sites don't even get ad revenue.

I understand that they are losing money, it all comes down to advertising at the end of the day tho. they need to find a way of prising googles monopolistic grip over advertising revenues rather than charging for content, which is bound to fail because they have been providing content for free for years and people wont suddenly start paying, they will simply go elsewhere where the news is free

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?

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.

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.

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...

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.

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.

Commenting is disabled on this article.