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The Telegraph erects web paywall, The Sun has similar plans

by Mark Tyson on 27 March 2013, 11:04

Tags: News Corp (NASDAQ:NWS)

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From today The Telegraph will be moved behind a paywall. However non-paying browsers will still be able to view 20 articles per month for free, before content is blocked. That’s a similar model to the FT. In other news it has been revealed that The Sun will probably be put behind a paywall during the second half of this year.

The Telegraph’s move isn’t quite as dramatic as that of The Times, which from July 2010 completely blocked all non-subscribers from viewing its content. Currently The Telegraph has an international viewership exceeding 60 million people a month; it will be interesting to see the figures this time next year.

An article on The Telegraph spells out the reasons why the paywall has been put in place. The newspaper says its subscription initiative is to “reward our loyal subscribers”, and is an extension to the international web subscription model already in place. The full workings of the subscription offering are as below:

  • Newspaper subscribers will have unlimited access to our website, in addition to our tablet editions and smartphone apps, at no additional charge.
  • Subscribers to our tablet editions also get unlimited access to our website and smartphone apps at no additional charge.
  • Readers who are not subscribers will continue to get access to 20 free articles a month on telegraph.co.uk. To go beyond that limit, readers will be invited to choose between two digital subscription packages; our Web Pack, which combines unlimited web access with our smartphone apps, for £1.99 a month; or our full Digital Pack, which includes our tablet editions, for £9.99 a month.

In addition there is a free one month trial available for both the Web and Digital pack options.

Currant Bun Costs

The Sun is the UK’s bestselling “newspaper” and reports in The Guardian and TNW suggest that its web content is also going to be paywalled some time during the second half of the year. The Sun paywall news stems from a few quotes from the chief exec of News Corporation’s UK newspaper division, Mike Darcey, who was speaking at a press event yesterday.

Darcey reportedly described the Sun’s free online presence as “untenable”. Furthermore he responded to questions about an upcoming content paywall surrounding The Sun as “a fairly safe bet”. Apparently the newspaper has a new deal to offer video highlights and goals from the Premier League football clubs. It is thought that some people will pay for this, alongside the regular Sun news and celeb gossip.

HEXUS Forums :: 19 Comments

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They may as well just pull their sites completely, I'm sure they'd save a fortune in hosting costs compared to the amount they'll get from those willing to pay for news freely available in thousands of other places.
I think you're wrong though, goto a Costa and/or Starbucks (other overpriced coffee shop chains are available) and look at people sitting on their iPads (over tablets also available) drinking expensive coffee and paying through the nose to look at content…
Not sure how they justify £10/month for tablet access, but £2/month for web and smartphone access!
They may as well just pull their sites completely, I'm sure they'd save a fortune in hosting costs compared to the amount they'll get from those willing to pay for news freely available in thousands of other places.
It depends.

I subscribe to the economist, it is I think the best news source out there, sure it is not instant, but their writers on the whole show a deep understanding of the underlying matter.

Rather than some monkey who just translates what is on the wire.

Myself I don't consider the telegraph to be a good paper, but they appear to be sure that they have many people who do and will be willing to pay.

Allowing 20 per month is more than enough for people stumbling on to the site via social media etc.
The Sun is the UK’s bestselling “newspaper”

Best…quote…ever :D

But yes I'm not sure what's going on with £2/month for smartphone, £10/m for tablet? There must be more to it than that.

Is ad revenue in that much of a decline that this is a viable option for them? (rhetorical, it must be or they wouldn't be doing it)
Most ‘newspapers’ are now just full of click bait articles (I'm looking at you Daily Mail) so will paywalls increase the quality of them? (again, I guess this is rhetorical as we're talking about The Sun)