News Corp – Loses 87% of Online Audience After Introducing Pay Wall in the UK
Earlier this year, I wrote about how newspapers and magazines were dying. They are suffering from lower readership and Rupert Murdoch wanted to introduce a ‘pay wall’. A pay wall is where users have to pay to read the news online. I do not think many people would want to pay to read the news when they have been getting it free for so many years.
The Times and the Sunday Times, owned by News Corp in the UK, have introduced a pay wall to read their newspaper online and through iPad Apps. It was far from successful.
The online audience for the Times and Sunday times has gone from 3 million unique visitors to about 200,000 paying subscribers. 100,000 of these subscribers are free accounts for customers who are already subscribed to the print version. About 105,000 are new paid users.
Reuters reports that the overall traffic has almost dropped by 90% and estimates for it’s revenue stand at $8 million.
Newspapers usually rely on advertisers to keep them in business. The cost of the newspaper is usually to cover printing, paper and delivery.
Does the paid online version have ads? If I was paying for the online version, I wouldn’t want to see any ads and I am sure everyone else would agree.
It will be interesting to see what their next step will be. Will they keep pushing this paid model or will they go back to the free version and only collect revenue from advertising?