Jonathan Saipe

Times and Sunday Times Online Move To Subscription Model

27 March 2010, Jonathan Saipe

Times Online logoAs of June 2010, News International will be charging £1 to access The Times and Sunday Times Online for a day’s subscription; or £2 for a week’s subscription.

News International chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, also hinted that its other titles, the Sun and the News of the World, would follow with a paywall model.

This is a landmark moment as both The Times and The Sunday Times are set to become the first UK national newspapers to charge for access to all of their online content. The Financial Times is currently charging for a large bulk of its online content.

As ad revenues fall, this is seen by many as a necessary business move, but of course it is commonly regarded as a high risk strategy as many competitor online newspapers will not be following suit.

Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International, said:

“We expect to attract a growing base of loyal customers that are committed and engaged with our titles.  We are building on the excellence of our newspapers and offering digital access to our journalism at a price that everyone can afford.”

The Time Online currently attains 1.22 million readers per day. If we were to assume that only 5% of these readers convert to the paywall model, it would yield £1.83m if they each buy a £1 daily subscription. At a 10% conversion rate, it would net £3.66m per month for both papers. Whereas if the weekly subscription was selected,  revenues would be reduced.


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