The price is £1 per day – the same as the cover price of the print edition, or £2 per week. As an introductory offer, readers will be able to access content for the first 30 days for an offer price of £1. iPad editions will continue to be charged separately, at £9.99 a month. Their help area states this pricing structure is ‘easy to understand and affordable to all’ Digital access is included with the seven-day print subscription price to The Times/Sunday Times.
In order for paying readers to gain added value last month News International unveiled the new-look Times and Sunday Times, which require users to register. The new Times website is to feature fewer, more focused stories, while Sunday title offers ‘magazine look and feel’. They are promising to give readers “deeper coverage, you will be able to immerse yourself in new features and photography, videos and infographics.” Added features include live Q&A sessions with columnists.
The FT quoted Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International as saying “We have been very pleased with the response from readers since the launch of the new websites,” and “The new sites showcase our award-winning journalism in a very visual way, giving readers exclusive content and interactivity so that they can get even more from the news.”
The BBC reported on reader reactions since the registration to the Times “Figures from Experian Hitwise showed that last week, 18% of visitors to the Times website then went to the special site to register for access, indicating that they were willing to or interested in registering to see content. After that, the most popular destination for Times website visitors was the Telegraph, who picked up 3.8% of readers and the Guardian and Daily Mail sites who each received 2% of the Times’ traffic.”
The Times and the Sunday Times are the first UK papers to fully charge for digital content, could this introduction of a paywall be a potential turning point for other online news sites? As more is published about the paywall debate and the future of paid content trends and results materialize, many will question what is reasonable and realistic, and more importantly…….what will the readers’ reactions be?