Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Follow-up on Newspaper Paywalls

I have blogged several times about the erection of newspaper paywalls, especially the decision of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation to charge for The Times and The Sunday Times. Frankly, I was skeptical that enough people would be willing to subscribe to general news publications, even those of high quality, when there is so much free content available on the Internet. An article in today's New York Times, however, reports that 105,000 customers are now paying for the online versions of The Times and The Sunday Times. News Corporation said that about half were regular subscribers to the digital editions, while the rest are "occasional purchasers. Another 100,000 readers have activated free digital accounts that are included in print subscriptions to the papers." While News Corporation did not release any information about revenue, the number of paying customers should be encouraging to other newspapers looking to "introduce paid services as online advertising falls short of publishers' hopes that it might someday replace dwindling print ad revenue."

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