back to article Times websites want £1 a day from June

The Times and the Sunday Times are set to charge for access to their websites from June. Rupert Murdoch said in August last year he wanted to charge for all his sites, though in November he suggested the firm could miss the June deadline. Rebekah Brooks, chief executive at News International, said: “These new sites, and the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Already done that

    Johnston Press are about to roll their's back.

    A test of 3 sites is ending shorly with no current plans to reintroduce it apparently.

    That said, Times is a daily, and this was tested on weeklies with fairly minimal content. Still, the Scotsman seems to rub along nicely with a mix of free and paid for content.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      aye typical of the Murdock Clan...

      "the Scotsman seems to rub along nicely with a mix of free and paid for content......"

      i once bought a pint there .. the beer was free but the glass cost me £3....

      do yooose think I'm stooopid Murdocks of the Glen di Greed with no reeeders

  2. DavCrav

    This'll work...

    No, really. Where do I put my credit card details in to pay £1? I wonder how much the processing fee is for it?

    And don't even get me started on the Sun and the News of the World charging. That'll be the quickest epic fail ever.

    It might actually be cheaper for the Sun website to just consist of the words "You want tits? Buy the paper." and nothing else.

  3. Alex Walsh

    I'm glad

    I'll get the chance to be one of the millions that tell Murdoch his papers aren't worth paying for :D

  4. Chronos

    Bye bye, News International!

    This here's the Internet. It was built and designed with mutual co-operation in mind and was never intended to be "monetized," whatever the hell that is. The *only* exception to this is the pr0n industry.

    There are other news information services. I really do hope more and more greedy sods do the same as it'll remove the dross from the web and we may be able to get some search results that really are sharing information rather than just trying on the hard sell. Next thing to deal with: Comparison sites.

    Nothing of value (except perhaps Jeremy Clarkson's Sunday rant column) will be lost.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      Bye bye, News International! → #

      >The *only* exception to this is the pr0n industry.

      I'm sorry? You have actually paid to view/download that...?

    2. Steve Roper

      Search results will suffer actually.

      As more and more sites disappear behind paywalls, you'll actually get increasingly "irrelevant" search results. You'll type something into Google, and every single result on the first five pages will appear to be relevant to what you typed - but clicking the link will give you yet another "to view this content, please provide your credit card details / join now" page. It's bad enough now as it is. When paywalls are everywhere, they will render the current search engines completely useless.

      Because of this increasing and infuriating trend, I'm currently developing a search engine that automatically blacklists paysites and returns only results from free sites. What's more, it will do things like planting cookies, keeping your search history and profiling your search habits (to return more relevant results to you) ONLY if you explicitly tell it to (opt-in, not opt-out), otherwise it will keep no records relating to your searches. It'll take me a few more months to complete development, and a few more to spider up a decent result set, but when it's done I anticipate a lot of interest from people who, like myself, are thoroughly fed up with clicking on a promising search result only to be presented with another fucking paywall.

      1. DPWDC

        Google Cache

        Thats when the google cache button becomes useful! ;)

  5. Tech Hippy



  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm looking forward to this

    If the big papers start charging then hopefully Google News will display more local paper's news.

    It also leaves a big window open for someone with a current news presence to start reporting on the national stories.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I'm looking forward to this → #

      > It also leaves a big window open for someone with a current news presence to start reporting on the national stories.

      And hopefully clears the way for democratic user-submitted / crowd-sourced / popularity rated news and discussion sites to dominate.

      Which means news, opinion and discussion without the big media corporate / nationalistic censorship filters and propaganda (see: manufacturing consent - herman / chomsky).

      News Corp could find this experiment a humbling one - their ability to influence might not be as powerful as they think it is.

  7. Elmer Phud

    Sun Subscription?

    Hmm, difficult for Sun readers(?) to spell subscription.

    But I'd expect things like the football to be hidden behind a paywall - odd how it's a paper that's read(?) from back to front - but to get the punters in the may need to have a cut-down Page 3 that is outside the paywall.

    Murdoch'/Wade to release a singel - 'Money for nothing, but the tits are free'

    Pirates, where's me buccaneers?

    1. Richard Bedford

      Where's your buccaneers?

      Under your buckin' 'at! Boom boom!

      Sorry - I'll get me coat...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tough decision - tip of the iceberg?

    I understand why they've taken this decision. Journalists, after all, need to be paid, servers need electricity and bandwidth costs dosh too. Advertising alone clearly isn't enough to make ends meet.

    OTOH, taken to its logical conclusion, eventually only the BBC will be able to provide free access to it's news, entertainment, forums, etc. Given how shaky that looks with the current BBC cut backs (and the fact that nobody wants a monochrome internet experience), the great free, massively connected internet we've all come to know and love is looking decidedly uncertain.

    Just think how much of the information that's shared out there now would become practically useless if every link you clicked on required a subscription to be able to see it, that every different site you visit daily asked for another quid in the tin.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      The BBC isn't free

      The BBC website isn't really free. Us licence fee payers are supporting it.

      Mind you at £145/year for several TV & radio channels *and* the website it makes Murdoch's £104/year for a couple of newspaper sites seem a total rip-off.

      And isn't this the same News International that bought Myspace - wonder what happened to that?

  9. Owen Carter


    104 poonds per year for Murdoch brand bottom wipes.

    The relevant quote here is: There's one born every Minute.

  10. Winkypop Silver badge



    "deliver a terrific experience for readers "

    see above

  11. EddieD

    Whinging Oz, part 2?

    I can't help but wonder if this is another gambit by the dirty digger to attack the BBC - when this fails spectacularly they'll go bleating to the competition commission about how they cannot compete against the publically funded BBC

    1. Justabloke 1

      Who will hopefully respond...

      .... fuck off you twat.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Newcastle were too big a team to get relegated.

    Is there any reason to pay for what you can easily get legally for free in many other places? I'm really hopin Murdoch gets an ass whupping on this one. Something needs to kill off the dinsoaurs.

  13. Wokstation

    Bye bye bookmark

    Scrub one news source of thousands off my list.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Not a chance of this taking off in a million years.

    This just opens up the floor for a whole host of ad driven news websites that are FREE.

    Perhaps The Register could expand.

    1. Anton Ivanov

      In other news a russian billioner...

      And in other news a russian billioner bought a competing newspaper for 1£. Hm... Coincidence?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That'll be...

        the same Russian Billionaire who bought the Evening Standard (for a quid) and promptly made it free - leading not only to a tripling in circulation, but to a _rise_ in revenue...

  15. Anonymous Coward

    £1 a day ?!?!?!?!

    £1 a day ? LOL. I like Rupert. He's funny.

  16. Martin Silver badge

    So the Sun are going to charge us....

    ...for the news they get from trawling the free news sites and blogs on the internet? Right.....

  17. Efros

    Have they made pot legal

    If not they are definitely smoking something illegal over at the Times.

    1. kissingthecarpet

      Crack more like

      or maybe they've damaged their Shatner's Bassoon from taking too much clarkie cat

      1. Robin

        re: Crack more like

        They can look forward to spending two fortnights in a bad balloon.

  18. JMB

    Murdoch charges

    I notice The Sun has an article by John Humphries this morning supporting charging for access to online newspapers. Presumably there will be more articles like that in the Murdoch newspapers, all supporting the charges.

    1. Anonymous John

      I think The Sun shot itself in the foot there

      John Humphrys said he spent £500 a year on papers. Small change to him, but not to many.

      If I bought newspapers daily, the article would have made me think that I had better things to do with £500.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    No more Google News for Murdoch's organs then?

    Would have been nice to see this obvious question mentioned (or even answered) in the article.

  20. Rufus

    Farewell BBC News...

    And when the experiment of charging for content fails, how long will it be before there are calls for the BBC to remove it's publically funded online news content which. " driving out competition and stifling innovation ..."


  21. Joe K


    Sounds like they're about to realise just how worthless the masses think their news is.

    People only buy daily papers out of habit these days, and the ones that don't buy the papers have no loyalty to the websites.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    May I be the first to say...

    Ha. Haha. Hahaha. Ha, haha, ha haha ha.

    Paris. She's always free.

  23. Daggersedge
    Thumb Up

    Great news!

    And here I was thinking all the news was going to be gloom and doom today.

    I don't read these so-called newspapers anyway. I wouldn't even print out the stories for composting. So now the entire world can join me in ignoring Murdoch's propaganda rags.

    I'm off to open a bottle of wine.

  24. Paul M 1

    Excellent news

    The sooner that they reaise this is never going to work the better. Personally I'm getting a bit bored hearing the various Murdochs moaning because people won't give them money in the way they're used to.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does this mean

    That we'll be able to spot the articles between the advertising? Or is that money-grubbing colonial slimeball going to try and screw yet more out of his readers?

    There are two likely scenarios, either the rest of 'Fleet St' will follow and we'll see the BBC and The Register sites thriving or they won't and it will be NI that goes down the toilet.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      @AC 10:29

      What do you think?

      Look at Sky - you pay for a service with ads that shows repeats!

  26. Semihere

    Charging for free content?

    Yeah, good luck with that... ;p

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All effort should be rewarded

    I think this is a reasonable and necessary step - not just for newspapers, but for all content providers (including The Register). We've enjoyed a long period of 'free' content, but it's unsustainable. Everyone producing content through this medium - journalists, photographers, authors, musicians, software developers, etc - deserves to be paid for their work. Advertising is sometimes a reasonable tradeoff, but I'd rather have quality content I paid for than have advertising in my face all day.

    1. jackharrer


      Yes, but when the price is reasonable. Quid per day? He's taking a p*ss. Dead tree version costs that much, but that includes printing, delivery, sales margins, etc.

      Similar argument as with CD/Downloads... Somebody tries to profit and when it fails, complains will start about unfair competition, not a stupid business model. When will those people learn Economics 101 - Supply and Demand curve that dictates prices?

    2. John Bailey

      Why exactly?

      Put something on the net. Charge for it.

      Result one. It is something that people choose to buy, and it makes a profit.

      Result two, is that it is not something that people want to buy, and does not make a profit.

      Result three.. It's available elsewhere, and anybody with sense will rout around the paywall and still get to the information they want.

      Build it and they will come only works in movies, and that which is written in The Sun today is litter tomorrow. Usually sooner.

      The whole pay wall the internet idea is nonsense, because there will never be a consensus among publishers.. Half the majors may switch, but that just leaves twice the traffic for the sensible ones who don't fall for it.

      And no. The artists musicians and who ever else is producing something do not deserve to be paid for their work. They deserve a chance to try and sell their work to us. Subtle but important distinction.

    3. Semihere

      But you'll get BOTH

      "I'd rather have quality content I paid for than have advertising in my face all day"

      You seem to forget that this is a Murdoch enterprise, therefore you'll have to pay a subscription AND get advertising in your face all day long.

      Have a subscription/cover price meant that there are no ads in print versions of newspapers? Nope - newspapers only exist because of advertising.

      Has a subscription-based system meant there's no advertising on Murdoch's satellite TV offerings? Nope, once again I think you'll find that it's the advertising that's really paying for it.

      In fact, the satellite channels are about one third advertising to two thirds programming - much more than commercial terrestrial TV (ITV/Channel 4) ever had in their heyday. A good measure for this is a show like The Simpsons. On Sky 1 they managed to fit two episodes of the Simpons into a one-hour slot. In the same one-hour slot BBC 2 managed to fit THREE episodes.

      Just goes to show what kind of a vile system Murdoch operates. With the BBC you pay your license fee, and because you paid you don't get advertised at (apart from on the 'Dave' and 'UKTV' channels which are owned/operated by the BBC), but with Sky you pay your exorbitant monthly fee for less content and STILL get advertised at - if not more than ever... you're welcome to your pay-site for news, replete with twice as many adverts jumping up in front of the content you paid to read!

  28. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    I'm sorry ?

    I don't pay for his paper. Why would I want to pay for his website ?

    1. Frank Bough

      You DO know

      that your right not to buy their stuff remains completely unaffected, right? Unlike the BBC, I hate to point out.

      1. david bates

        BBC is NOT mandetory....

        If you organise yourself so you dont what broadcast TV or streamed stuff at the same time its broadcast then its all free...

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    That's another good reason for not using any News International products. If this plan gives others an incentive to avoid the likes of the Sun, NoW etc then so much the better. Personally I have not touched one of their papers since the Sun's disgraceful reporting on the Hillborough disaster.

  30. Anonymous Coward


    So Times at £1 a day! Now we see that the BBC actually provide excellent value for money at £145.50 for a whole year and a set of TV channels and radio channels chucked in for free

  31. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Thanks, but No Thanks, we can make up better Stories Ourselves and Share them for Free.

    "Rebekah Brooks, chief executive at News International, said: “These new sites, and the apps that will enhance the experience, reflect the identity of our titles and deliver a terrific experience for readers ... this is a crucial step towards making the business of news an economically exciting proposition."

    I'll take a quarter of an ounce/seven grams of whatever Rebekah is smoking, please, for it certainly sends her off into Outer Space. Did ever you hear such a Naked Short Sell of Bare Cheek Spin?


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