Reported on the BBC today the Times and Sunday Times will start charging for online access to their content from June. Finally we get to see a paywall experiment from a major newspaper! It will be interesting to see how it goes, to say the least.
The charge will be £1 per day or £2 for a week’s subscription.
Murdoch has of course been saying that he will start charging online for a while and with this move he puts the online future of two of his major UK titles up in the air. The Sun and The News of the World will remain largely free, presumably until he can see whether the move has worked out for the Times and Sunday Times.
Interestingly the Times Online site is not starting from a position of strength. As you can see from the table below it went backwards last year even with a free model. Obviously at this stage nobody knows how many people will choose to pay, but as I wrote last week, my gut is this won’t work out well.