Top News Websites to Charge Readers for Survival
The Reuters Global Media Summit this week saw three global leaders in news – The New York Times, The Times of London and The Financial Times expressing their views on charging readers for viewing contents online. It was the unprecedented decline in advertising spending that had resulted in bankruptcy and job loss in the publication industry, that prompted newspaper majors towards this move.
“We create very valuable, important content and we are trying to ensure we get fairly compensated for it,” said Chase Carey, Chief Operating Officer, News Corporation.
As a precaution to prevent drop-offs in the readerships and advertisers while moving to paid service, the news giants are trying to calibrate the pricing structure and other bundled services for readers who are earlier accustomed to free access.
Among the few newspapers which have met success with online payment system include Wall Street Journal, the business newspaper owned by News Corporation. But the firm’s publication Times of London has failed to yield the success that Wall Street Journal achieved. The readership has dropped by almost 90 percent after Times started charging their readers, reports Reuters
The New York Times will introduce the “metered” model to charge its users. Readers will be given free access up to a limited number of articles, after which they will be charged for further reading.
The Financial Times have been charging online readers since 2001 with non subscribers being blocked from all contents. But in 2007, the site switched to a metered model and currently 20 percent of the firm’s total revenue comes from its subscriptions and advertising.
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