How are things on the news website front? Is anyone out there noticing a desperate need for more free to view ones? The question is put because Rupe’s supposedly upmarket troops at the Times and Sunday Times have vanished behind a paywall, yet the groundswell of popular opinion clamouring for their reinstatement to the land of the free has not materialised.
And that may be starting to concern Rebekah Brooks (née Wade), Murdoch’s representative on this particular part of the earth. That thought has occurred after seeing several iterations of a new TV advert, not for the Times newspaper, but specifically for its website. The advert looks tempting, until the end.
There, the difficult subject of payment is broached: only a quid for the first 28 days. Well, big deal. The Maily Telegraph, Independent and Guardian are a quid less, and for rather longer. And after the introductory offer, the Times is one pound for a “daily pass”. Even so, the offer might get a few more punters on board – but only for a month.
Most likely is that the numbers prepared to pay in the days following imposition of the paywall have been so low that Wade and her fellow News Corp managers have been panicked into action to try and reverse a dire trend. The only way that this kind of scheme is going to succeed is if the content on offer is so superior to the competition – or that the competition follow suit.
Well, that competition is so far not following suit, and I doubt that the content is worth anyone opening their wallet. Rupe was warned it wouldn’t work.