Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Friday 26 June 2015

Sun Paywall A Flop - Official

It’s a month and a half since the General Election, yet the piss-poor SunNation website is still there, and still free to view, despite the Murdoch aversion to giving what they rather optimistically call “content” away for free. Moreover, SunNation is going to remain there, and remain free to view. Not only that, but it will not be the only Sun content available without recourse to a paywall. Why so?
Ah well. Sad to say, Rupe’s downmarket troops have had to concede that their paywall campaign has progressed not necessarily to their advantage. Back in 2013, the Guardian told that “Sun paywall set at £2 with access to Premier League football highlights … Charge will come into effect in August after £30m deal is struck for rights to all 380 Premier League matches a season”. Everyone would have to pay.

News International CEO Mike Darcey claimed that this would give subscribers “a compelling, paid-for package across all of our titles, delivering great value for news that is worth paying for”. For football fans, “It will include access to Premier League clips as well as ‘exclusive offers and promotions’”. Darcey had secured “the exclusive rights to internet and mobile highlights for all 380 Premier League matches on the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times digital platforms”. Two years later, the white flag is being run up.

The same Mike Darcey has now declared that more “content” will be made available free of subscription, telling “Since last summer, we have been working on a cross-departmental project to re-imagine the Sun and evolve its business model to take account of rapid changes in technology and the way readers are accessing and sharing news”.

The way readers are accessing and sharing news”? There is a plain English translation for that one: the magpies at Mail Online (for instance) buy a subscription, lift stories, work an attribution to the Sun into the text, and out it goes as more clickbait. Those not wanting access to football highlights don’t bother paying. And that means, as the Guardian put it, “the audience-killing paywall has made the site less attractive to advertisers”.

Darcey has all but admitted that other sites lift the Sun’s copy: “most of the content put outside the paywall will be developed on a bespoke basis by new teams, but … editors will be able to ‘deploy other Sun stories, especially ones well covered by competitors” [my emphasis]. Murdoch’s attempt to impose his own iron rule - that nothing is for free, and his papers’ journalism is worth paying for - has failed. That will have hurt.

So now the Sun will join the established online market leaders, but a long, long way behind Mail Online - and, something that will hurt even more - almost as far behind the hated Guardian. Two years of putting fingers in ears and not listening has put the Sun so far off the pace that it could take it some years to catch up - if it ever does catch up. “This is the beginning, not the end, of our evolution of The Sun” says Darcey.

He’s bullshitting. Apart from football highlights, it’ll all be free soon. Game over.


Anonymous said...

Of course he's bullshitting.

So what's new?

But since when has proto fascism been "free"?

I have to say I enjoy the spectacle of a squirming gang of Murdoch boot boys.

Then again, I've always preferred truth to bullshit.

James said...

"Apart from football highlights, it’ll all be free soon"

And it seems that, if a 'football highlight' does happen, chances are someone's filmed it on their mobile, stuck it on Vine and shared it around the world before the Sun's had time to open up Windows Movie Maker. And the best bit is when Murdoch gets the hump about this - It's fun to ser the Sun complaining about people pilfering content...