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

    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

    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?

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Fuck off

    Just fuck off

  33. David Pollard


    Is this in any way associated with the cutbacks announced a month ago, which El Reg headlined as "BBC to ... halve websites in painful biz review"?

    Alexa ranks the BBC at No. 44. Even though presently free, the Times Online is 433.

  34. The BigYin


    Screw that.

    Actually I might consider it if it was advert free. If I read the Times in the first place...

  35. Anonymous Coward

    This calls for an old joke

    The Light Brigade made less ridiculous charges.

  36. Alan Bourke

    Cometh the hour

    ... cometh the paywall.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    End of the Times

    Well, I have to say that I often enjoy reading the odd article on The Times website, but charging £1 a day for it - for casual readers that's £1 per article... is absolute insanity. I agree with the above statements that £104/year for the news most of which can be read on the BBC for the cost of the license fee shows just how out of touch news corp has become.

  38. Gordon is not a Moron

    So who's your money on ?

    The Times website a £1 per day vs. The Independent (bought for £1) being turned in a free paper.

    Which one do you think will last longer?

  39. Tom 7

    Struggling newspaper industry?

    Where? It closed down years ago!

    Are you talking about the not very glossy fashion, opinion and media automasturbation things that replaced them with the same names?

  40. MinionZero

    The Internet routes around damage...

    ... and any attempt to block access acts like a form of damage on the Internet.

    So Murdoch's old control freak attitude won't work in this brave new world of the Internet. Back when he could control distribution of news via controlling physical paper distribution, he was happy. But now ironically all he is going to do is make his competitors very happy, as he will be pushing more readers to them! :)

    These control freak people like Murdoch never give up. The thing is, every attempt at control creates a pressure for change away from that control, which ultimately bypasses their control. I guess thats why they feel they never have enough control, because they feel (and fear) that control slowly slipping away.

    Well at least his competitors will be very happy with the extra traffic and they will enjoy telling prospective new readers that his papers are a rip off so read their stuff instead. :)

    (Murdoch is an old media dinosaur who doesn't get it that these days he needs to encourage like minded people to him, by aggregating the vast sea of news stories into a way to attract like minded people instead of constantly seeking ways to control people).

    Good bye Murdoch, you are old news.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      OK but...

      You need to get inside his brain to understand.

      You know his attitude to the BBC and the licence fee or wants the fee abolishing so that the BBC have to raise money by advertising or subscription charges? Well work the same logic into his charging for his websites. His next move will be to try to force the competition to charge for their content.

      Recently I've wondered exactly where Roop was going with the licence fee thing. I couldn't see how he ever hoped to get a share of the fee, now I wonder if he wasn't just trying to get to change the rules so that the Beeb couldn't fund their website with the licence fee. And of course it's just a coincidence that he always planned to start charging after the general election. After all his pro-Tory election coverage wouldn't reach so many people if they had to pay to reach it, so Cameron wouldn't be his friend if he'd started charging today.

  41. Chris Hatfield

    Hey Murdoch

    No-one cares.

  42. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    BBC cuts

    Whilst I agree that the BBC probabaly could do with cutting several channels to drive up the overall quality of output, I can't really see Murdoch winning any "competition" claim he might choose to make.

    As the BBC state, their service is a national organisation owned for and paid for by the people.As one of those owners I'd certainly be lobbying (as should everyone else) that this cannot be allowed to happen.

  43. Anonymous Coward

    Goodbye. Au revoir. Adios. Auf Wiedersehen

    The sooner Mudoch's vile propaganda is put away behind lock and key the better for everyone.

    1. Frank Bough

      Are you sure you've got that right?

      ...since when was The Times 'vile propoganda"? Get a grip, FFS.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Are you sure you've got that right?

        Yes, to be fair like most so called "journalists" these days, Murdochs Minions appear to simply regurgitate whatever junk they are spoonfeed.

        Vehicle for propaganda (cab for hire?) is probably more accurate.

        1. Puck

          It is propaganda, too.

          It is a load of anti-Labour tosh these days, with a few honourable exceptions (David Aaronovitch's contrarian bent is quite movingly turned against his colleagues these days), and the broad political church of yore is completely silent all across its left.

          I will miss the Times's fora full of frothing right-wing and no doubt unemployed commentards, and the moderators, half of whom spike every anti-Tory comment (although it is fun trying to sneak arrant nonsense into pseudo-UKIP rants).

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Same old story

    So I can read the same news on a hundred different website, but one of them is to start charging £365/year for it. Where's the additional value?

    1. Goat Jam


      The fail is for Rupert, but to be fair I should point out that the figure you are railing against should be £104 per year (£2 x 52 weeks)

  45. Mark 65

    Oooo great

    £1 a day for The Sun stories with slightly more eloquent language. Fantastic. Bargain. No, really. Sign me up now. Twat.

  46. The Other Steve
    Thumb Up


    That is the sound of the Times falling out of my bookmarks while I laugh hysterically. I doubt the Times has a strong enough USP to survive in a marketplace filled with non paid competition.

    @Ralph 5 : "Advertising is sometimes a reasonable tradeoff, but I'd rather have quality content I paid for than have advertising in my face all day."

    Ah yes, but that's the point isn't it ? Murdoch's entire business model revolves around the fact that he wants you to pay for 'quality' content AND have advertising in your face all day. You pay him so that he can charge advertisers for your eyeballs. Well fuck right off with that.

    For some reason, enough people have fallen for this to make him exceedingly rich, but I will remain a refusenik until he picks one or the other, which will be never.

  47. Moz


    "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 ... "

    Yeah, a bit like she delivered a "terrific experience" to Ross Kemp's head. And was arrested for it.

  48. Alien Doctor 1.1

    A polite suggestion

    Fuck off murdick.


    We buy the Sunday Times each week, generally because some of the journalism is top-notch and they have done a lot to expose nulaybores failings/shortcomings/dirty-handedness/corruption/lying/grovelling............

    Surely in this technogically "advanced" age they could print a unique code within each copy allowing those that purchase the print edition to have access to that edition. With a unique code any attempts to spread it could be nipped in the bud and only the first user code read the website.

    Having said that, I'm more of an Independent chap myself and look forward to what Lebedev may do with that paper.

    Please don't flame me for my choice of paper ;)

    1. Doc Spock

      Re: Unique Codes

      What would prevent people from just noting the code and using it without buying the paper? Anyway, subscribers to the paper get free access to the web site.

      I would accept the following:

      - free summaries of all articles (e.g., 2 paragraphs)

      - first two or three articles each day free

      - £2 a week for unlimited access (no daily charge, but monthly/yearly deals)

      - articles over a week old free

      - no adverts on paid-for content

      - access controlled by username/password combo

      (of course, the above is for _decent_ news sites - I wouldn't pay for Murdoch's stuff)

      1. Mark Aggleton
        Thumb Down

        Yes - but

        Subscribers can't opt out of the Sunday Times. There's enough in Saturday's to keep you going over the weekend, why do you ned a Sunday paper as well?

  49. TeeCee Gold badge

    It'll save 'em money!

    They can replace all the content with one page containing a Flash video of tumbleweeds blowing around with the wind whistling in the background.

    It'd be a great gag and a right, royal shame that nobody would ever see it......

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Apparently there's a good chance that the Indy is going to become a free sheet soon. So the Indy are looking at letting you have the paper for nowt while NI want to charge for web content. From most of NI's output it seems that the websites are just there to tell you to buy the paper if you want more detail. I can see them rolling this one back within a few months.

  51. copsewood

    wont pay

    Havn't bought anything from Murdoch since he cheated redundancy money due to the Fleet St printers using underhand tactics, by putting them in a position where they had no alternative but to strike. He then sacked them as he'd previously intended, having secretly built the replacement Wapping plant . I'm not going to buy anything from him now. My sister will simply have to copy me the letters she gets published in his filthy rag if she wants me to read them.

  52. Mr Templedene

    ahem *sings*

    Come gather 'round people wherever you be

    Who read all your news on the internet free

    And accept it from June the Times paywall will be.

    If your news to you is worth savin'

    Then you better start usin' the old BBC

    For the Times they are a-chargin'.

    (with apologies to Bob Dylan)

    Yes I know the BBC website comes out of my TV licence, but I don't care, that wouldn't have scanned properly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      ... and a very apt choice. Well done sir.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    someone tell them to turn the lights off...

    ...when they leave.

  54. thefutureboy

    Charlie Brooker had it right!

    Magic coins is the way to do it, read it here:

    (iPhone owners may want to skip the first half of the article ;-) )

    1. Frank Bough


      That's the most crushingly ironic article ever written - does Brooker not realise that Apple HAVE made a huge success out of micro-payments with the iPhone? Sadly, like all iPhone/Mac refusniks, he seems know not of what he speaks. Funny, though

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That's how Roop has always thought. The internet model is pretty much like the free newspaper model or the normal commercial TV model. That is to say you make your money by advertising.

    Roop wants everything to work from the sattelite TV model. That's the one where you charge for access to your content *and* make money from advertising. Actually he also wants a share of the licence fee on top of that. No, really. He thinks he should get a big wodge of the TV licence fee while continuing to charge for content and run advertising.

    On the internet he's going to learn the hard way. For fifteen years there have been sites that thought they could charge and have failed to make any money, either folding or changing over to the advertising funded model. Look at Friends Reunited, if that had been free from day 1 it would be absolutely huge now. Charging for contact details it what destroyed it. People just found alternatives rather than coughing up. So they used the site to find people and then found other ways to get in touch.

    I suspect that most people who currently use the Times site heavilly will soon find that there are other sites that give them what they want. Sure they may miss one or two columnists or regular featues, but mostly they'll find equally interesting things on other sites. The problem is that Roop is one of those people who will think he gets X visitors per week now so thats £104X per year income. Of course that's nonesense. For a start X will be too high since the same people will be visiting from different IP addresses throughout the week. But the main thing is that you can expect to lose at least half your customers when you start charging for something that was previously free.

    He's got a lot in common with the idiots in the record industry who think that if you can stop X "illegal" downloads of an album you will automatically sell X copies of the album.

  56. David Edwards

    Its his fault`

    Newspapers create climate of fear around children

    Children dont go out as much

    Children dont have paper rounds

    Papers dont get circulated

    People dont buy them

    If I could have a paper on my doorstep by 8.30 am id think about it (you know in paper format). But I believe that this is now too expensive since the reduction in "child labor"

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    One good reason I won't miss it

    When Andrew Neil took over as editor of the Sunday Times after Murdoch bought it, there was an editorial meeting in which he is supposed to have said something to the effect of 'I want to turn this paper into something showing pictures of successful businessmen around their weekend barbecues' (according, I think, to Don McCullin). That's pretty much what then happened to the ST and the daily; both were abandoned by their better journos, and what had been reasonable newspapers were reduced to window dressing for ads by the smug for the even smugger. Both can only now be described as the Sun for educated wankers.

    I'd love to say that I wish them well, but I really don't. It would be even nicer to think think this would be the beginning of the end for Rupe's empire, but while I think he'll end up with toasty fingers, there might just be enough right wing sycophants needing intellectual justification for their phobias to break even on the lost ad revenue.

    Ah well, at least it'll reduce their bandwidth bill, and keep the grubby oiks out of their comments.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      oh look, up-voted

      Looks like some left wing sycophants have intellectually justified your phobias, that must be a relief.

      I don't think Murdoch wants to keep grubby oiks away - they're pretty much his target audience for some of his stuff, no?

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You can't blame them for trying but..

    .. very few people will pay for something that they're used to having for free for so long - especially as the quality of many of his rags means they're hardly crucial viewing.

  59. Mos Eisley Spaceport
    Thumb Down

    Times websites want £1 a day from June

    What they WANT and what they GET will be two different things.

  60. Anonymous South African Coward Bronze badge


    Not going to work. People will get their news elsewhere.

  61. Anonymous Coward

    Apologies in advance

    But I can't think of a polite way to say "Go F**k yourself!"

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    £2 a week is fair value

    Well sure £1 a day sounds expensive but £2 for a full week is fair value if you are a regular Times reader. I would hope for that £2 a week they could deliver an iPad version of the online newspaper to my device.

  63. Anonymous Coward

    Two words

    Hitler Diaries :)

  64. Anonymous Coward


    Rather than missing the point and either 1) bleating on about how awful Murdoch and his methods are or 2) how awful Murdoch's papers are, surely the more interesting debate is how and whether to pay for content? It's more interesting than the first two because they are only matters of opinion anyway.

    All the people saying "it'll fail because no-one will pay" or "it should be free cos everything on the internet is free" should think about the quality of the end result. If something is free then either it has a near-zero production cost (and for journalism, that might well mean it is has zero value) or it is paid for out of earnings from other sources (endless adverts, whatever). In the latter case, is there enough profit to be had without charging as well?

    Pay a reasonably-priced subscription and get something better (i.e. more intelligent, more interesting, more incisive) than the trash you get in a free newspaper? Not very web2.0 but actually doesn't seem so weird or unlikely to me.

    But I think I am just badly rehashing Mr Orlowski's arguments, only without resorting (as much) to personal attacks and bitching like a waspish old queen. Except I just did.

  65. Callum

    done it before

    I worked at the FT and WSJ (Dow Jones) newspapers when they tried online pricing models in the 90's. Both saw immense drops in readership. Both changed back to majority-free content.

    Even though both papers were more niche than The Times, and both offered market data (which financial pro's are used to paying for) - there just wasn't enough volume of readership to make it work out.

    I heard a scare story from another paper (not named) that spent millions for a paid content section only to have 30-odd people sign up.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      done it before

      > I heard a scare story from another paper (not named) that spent millions for a paid content section only to have 30-odd people sign up.

      Is that efinancial news you're talking about?

      The people who cashed out on that when they sold to News Corp must have been laughing all the way to the bank.

    2. Raving
      Dead Vulture

      An Oscar performance too

  66. Dexx

    £1 a day for this little comedy gem?

    If this was June and you hadn't paid a quid or two, you'd have missed out on this (unintentional?) mistake.

    Article Title + Author = Comedy Gold!!!

    1. TeeCee Gold badge


      Well, it is at the moment anyway.

      The new keyboard's going to set me back a few quid though.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      This beer's for you...

      Oh, that's just classic - very well spotted sir! :D

      £1 _a day_ for the Sun or Times - what planet did the bozo who came up with that come from? So basically they're saying that the Sun's website is worth more than twice the cost of the _entire_ output of the BBC. Aye right - in your dreams pal!

      Although it won't effect me since I think it was six months, at least, since I visited either of the Sun/Times websites, (apart from to check out that link just now of course).

      Now I'm off to clean the coffee spray off my laptop...

  67. Yves Kurisaki
    Thumb Up


    Why not stick all his crap behind a closed firewall instead?

  68. Richie G

    £1 per day...

    Surely I cannot be the only person who has noticed that at asking people to subscribe for £1 per day, that is actually more than the newspaper itself costs? Especially if The Sun goes down the same route... moreso in fact!

  69. K Cartlidge

    The problem with free

    It's true that those who don't want to pay (and it's not good value, so there will be many) can just get their news from one of the free competitors - but if eventually every news provider has to give their stuff away, who will then provide the news?

    I don't like most of the papers (and never buy them, oooh the hypocrisy) but I acknowledge that without an income journalists won't work and over time the free news sources will either dry up or be forced to reduce the variety of their output even more due to the restricted original content out there.

    Content may want to be free, but that doesn't pay the reporter's food bills.

    1. Goat Jam

      It used to be said

      that the newstand price paid for the printing/distribution costs while the advertising revenue made the profits.

      The problem that most newspapers have is that the most profitable part of their advertising offerings were the "wanted" ad's. That has dried up and gone to ebay and craigslist etc.

  70. mafoo


    Because it worked so well for the New York Times didn't it?

  71. Tara O'Neill

    tag line

    "The Times They Are a-Chargin" A1 subtitle!

  72. Jacqui Smith's DVD Collection!

    Bye bye Murdoch

    He's making the Internets a safer place by putting all his hate behind a paywall, good on yer Murdoch, now do the same with all your tory prop.

  73. Seanmon


    you actually go to that mytimesplus, you're rewarded with a big cheesy picture of Malcolm Gladwell.

    That'll put the tin lid on it, I should think.

  74. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge


    You can do the internet exactly like cable TV, all you need to do is remove net neutrality.

    Rupe owns your local cable company so he is a monopoly on you getting to the internet (with no ADSL).

    So your internet package is $20/month for basic - which gets you bing and fox instead of google and the bbc - and amazon if they pay him.

    Then another $10 for access to flickr,facebook and youtube

    Then another $10 etc etc.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      That the dirty digger doesn't own *any* cable in the UK. Oh, he's tried to buy into it but he hasn't managed it, the best he can do is a truly shitty ADSL service nailled onto his satellite TV service.

  75. Stephen 1
    Black Helicopters

    Could work

    Could work if the BBC didn't exist. Hmmm, Tories win the election in May, destroy the BBC in return for support...

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All sites are ad free

    Thats what adblock plus is for!

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    This will work

    At last they have the balls to do this.

    Unlike the majority of Sun readers above, and freetards (everywhere), I think this will work.

    It might however come as a little shock to those that have never opened the paper, but it has stuff beyond news ... no really it does ... and I don't mean the foottie scores anything so boring like who said what to whom in Eastenders.

    This material is what has the high value, and this is what people will be paying for.

    I do not see any reason why this will not work ... for those that would choose to read the Times anyway, they already purchase it. So there will likely be more content online and quicker to entice online use.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh my aching sides...

      Anybody who opened a copy of The Times over twenty years ago would agree with you. Anybody who'd opened a copy of The Times in the last twenty years would laugh in your face. All they print now is basically the same bias as found in NI's more downmarket titles but with bigger words and in smaller type.

    2. David Simpson 1
      Thumb Down

      What makes it so special ?

      Except that The Times prints the same news stories as the BBC, Sky or anyone else so why pay Murdoch for it when I can just look at other sites for free ?

      1. Craigness


        Yeah, don't pay Murdoch...get Sky

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fair enough

    They're welcome to charge if they want but I'll not be paying. I check out the Guardian, Telegraph and a variety of other news sources every day. I do not bother with anything from News Corp (everything they do is tainted by Fox) or the Daily Fail (it's for retards who'd rather have someone else think for them). The problem I have is that because of the Internet, I'm used to getting my news from many sources and not relying for one, so I'd never subscribe to one paper (might consider subscribing to a premium aggregation service though since I'm not a freetard).

  79. RW

    Requiem for a once-great newspaper

    In the few years I've regularly read the Times online, I've seen its journalistic standards droop from not bad to tiresome. If Murdoch wants to charge, he's going to have to raise the journalistic standards a great deal, get rid of news about "celebrities" and how to cook custard, and otherwise make the Times website useful for people with brains.

    The Times used to be a global newspaper of record, but not these days.

    I anticipate that come June, like many others I'll be dropping the Times from my bookmarks.

    It's easy to measure the worth of an online news site these days: just calculate what fraction of articles are devoted to "celebrities". Frankly, what Paris and Britney and all the rest do is of no earthly significance, and if we heard nothing about them, the world would still go ahead. I admit that teenaged girls might wilt for lack of role models, but that's hardly a tragedy. They might learn to be themselves instead of ersatz dollies.

    PS: Murdoch is as old as the hills. Instead of trying to impose his withered, aged views on the world, maybe it's time for him to ride off into the sunset. He'll be dead soon enough, though the evil he's caused will live after him.

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's a thought for the dirty digger.

    Metro is free and a lot of public transport users read it.

    If they started charging for it do they really think anyone would pay?

  81. Anonymous Coward


    You mean I'd have to pay to see the adverts? Sign me up please :D NOT :)

  82. peter 5 Silver badge

    To add something constructive to the debate.

    The pertinent question isn't how many of us won't pay to read The Times, but whether there are now enough people on the Internet who think £2/week is good value. (Think about your mum, your sister, your mad uncle.)

    FWIW I occasionally do read it and I'd be prepare to put a fiver into an account and decrement it 1-2p *per*article*. But no more than that.

    1. Brangdon

      Good idea, wrong price

      If it was £2/month instead of £2/week, I'd probably go for it. If I wanted to look at something, I'd probably pay the £2 instead of the £1 in case I wanted to look again tomorrow, and having done that I'd probably go to the Times first in future (in order to get the most value). £24/year for a reasonable quality newsite feels about right to me.

      Likewise if The Register did something like this.

      £2/week or £104/year is too expensive. And a week is short enough that it would lapse before I wanted to read it a second time, and then I'd hesitate to pay again.

  83. Anonymous Coward

    DOH doh doh doh...

    What an *incredibly* stupid idea...


    There's a *lower* priced *premium* service, where defined popular articles you can only access if your a paid subscriber.

    The reality is, there's a wealth of news accessible without having to resort to the Times website.

  84. Tony Green


    That should save my searches being poisoned by lies from Murdoch rags.

  85. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    It's not who you know, it's what you know of the Future that leads the Pack*

    Why pay for yesterday's news which is all that you get with today's papers? What everyone in that industry is after is what will happen the day after tomorrow and for that they will pay a premium in the hope of making a fortune.

    That however requires them to be able to tap into a font/source.

    And here is some news which you may not know ...... Whenever the Great Debate message board was on the BBC, news items freely and openly discussed by its members, and some of them were real smart, towards an acceptable consensus of constructive unbiased opinion, invariably ended up as an item of news and novel government policy a day or two later, pirated/plagiarised from the board. Sadly though, nowadays, after a number of drastic changes to curb the critical free speech against the rules and regulations of Puppets and Muppets in the madhouse of Westminster, the very few boards that remain are moderated to such a ridiculous extent in support of the BBC/government view, as to be a complete and utter waste of anyone's time and Public money.

    * And I bet you that Alexander Lebedev knows that better than most.

  86. DrXym

    I predict...

    ...that everyone reading The Times for their daily news will merely switch to The Telegraph or failing that any number of news outlets. Let's face it 80% of any newspaper is interchangeable for any other especially with the likes of Google aggregating news. In the age of the web we can see how much news is just recycled from AP or reuters and it's a lot. Frankly if a website such as The can't fund itself from advertising revenues then it doesn't deserve to exist. Screw em, it's not like their content is unique and compelling.

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Great news

    All it will mean is that readers will drift away from his media group and hopefully will find a more balanced and even standard of reporting on world events. Bye Bye Murdoch - You're going to be history. No more will you brainwash the world.

  88. Tim Almond

    0 Value in News

    The problem is that most of what newspapers print has 0 value, or so close to 0 as to be worthless. Take the top story, about Nuclear Proliferation. There are 2,889 news stories about it on Google News. That's 2,888 competitors who are providing that story for free.

    But another question is about how many journalists we actually need any more. A lot of what they do is turning up to a Gordon Brown press conference where some things get handed out which they rewrite into a newspaper. What are they adding that isn't on the No 10 website that some part time blogger can link to?

    Add in the commentary (most of which is outclassed by bloggers) and corporate PR thinly disguised as news, and how much value are they providing? OK, there's real, genuine investigative journalism, but the amount of that which you'll find in newspapers is tiny.

    Newspapers don't have a right to exist any more than travel agents or buggy whip manufacturers. If you can't find a way to make money then you'll go out of business.

  89. Paul2724


    No chance - get some proper journalism on there instead of the tabloid crap it has become then maybe.

  90. RW

    @ Ralph 5, "All effort should be rewarded"

    No, absolutely not; you have that wrong. A chef may work his butt off, but end up producing horrible food; for that he deserves no reward.

    Further, you wrote:

    "Everyone producing content through this medium - journalists, photographers, authors, musicians, software developers, etc - deserves to be paid for their work."

    Well, where online news is concerned, the chef analogy holds. If Murdoch wants to charge, he's going to have to give people a product worth buying. Today's Times Online is NOT worth buying. Articles are too short, with little analysis, but lots of bias, and there's far too much space taken up by regurgitated publicist productions.

    Ah, well, not to worry. Good old market economics will ride to the rescue when the Times Online sees its readership drop precipitously. Free market über alles!

  91. Big-nosed Pengie

    Only a quid?

    I'd want much more than that to read Murdoch's crap.

  92. wgae

    Last battle of dying media

    MSM news outlets like The Times are desperate. Caught in the powerful mix of the past and the future, they failed to realize that their product is simply - not good. They blame the Internet where they should be looking in the mirror.

    Many journos have reduced themselves to mere PR spinmeisters, taking what comes their way as press releases, rewriting it with a bit of personal spin, and then publishing it. And they think this is "quality journalism". It is not.

    Where can true quality journalism be found today? At independent sites, like El Reg, that take the effort to research stuff, even if controversial, and to point out problems with the PR spin. Quality journalism also survives at blogs that are fed up with the bias of mainstream reporting and do their own research and reporting.

    The Times is not a quality product any more. That's why charging for access will FAIL. This will be one of the last battles of a medium nobody cares about any longer.

  93. Anonymous Coward


    nobody's gonna pay rofl

  94. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I used to read the Times

    until its editorial line became pro-Murdochian bollocks, instead of the measured discourse that it used to provide.

    I no longer pay for it. I sometimes read the pub's copy or the web site, but that's it. Looks like it will just be the pub's copy from now on.

    I already pay for the BBC, so I'll use that for my news, ta.

  95. This post has been deleted by its author

  96. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Saw some claims by the Guardian's editor

    1)Guardian took 37 million viewers last year.

    2)2nd behind BBC website

    3)Never planning to charge as it would *drastically* cut down their customer base for advertisers

    4)Only successful charging *general* new websites are Financial Times and Wall Street Journal (although according to other posters they might be part free and part "premium" content).

    5) They both supply time sensitive information which is worthwhile (to some people) to have now.

    6)They can be paid for by companies on behalf of their employees.

    Murdoch has *never* been neutral. In a *rare* interview he stated that "The Times will support who they like, I will be talking to the Sun's Political Editor to discuss who they will be supporting," a fairly clear indication that he doses the prole feed. Although when it comes to China he does *exactly* what Beijing wants. Still could make life for the in-laws awkward if he doesn't

    You will note that cross media ownership (IE Owning Sun/Times/Sunday Times/Fox News) and the influence they wield has *never* been on *any* Labor agenda since 1997. Likewise extending the Representation of the People Act (which requires UK TV channels to be even handed in their political coverage) to cover newspapers.

    The Murdoch model is roughly

    1)Charge consumers for the product

    2)Charge advertisers for access to the consumers eyeballs.

    3) Get a chunk of license fee off the government because the BBC is "unfair" competition and won't do what I say.

    And on a practical note. It's not really a micro payment scheme is it? People buying a newspaper pay money and get a *physical* object in return. They *know* it costs something to make this and distribute it. They also know that it costs a *hell* of a lot less to then distribute content on the internet.

    Would *anyone* pay for some content. People do so for specialised content already. what might I pay for. Specialised content? Detailed knowledgeable analysis. Long term deep investigations.

    Some people have stopped buying *any* newspaper altogether.

  97. Piro Silver badge

    This will fail

    Simply because people can still go to the BBC or Reuters.

  98. Grubby
    IT Angle


    i would understand signing up to an ap for the ipad or kindle etc where the 'paper' is available for me to read wherever I am, in place of an actual paper. This would have its benefits for both the paper and the consumer as they'll save money on the actual printing and reproduction of the same thing, and could in turn pass the savings on to me the reader, or at least removed some of the ads.

    But charging for access to their website? Rupert is a good business man when it comes to traditional and very basic business "I have this, you want this, you buy this". But the market is changing and the old man can't keep up, he can't say giving stuff away free isn't commercially viable... Google and Facebook are doing "ok".

    Fact is he's old school and his core consumer base are probably think HTTP is a new station on their wireless.

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fools and their money are soon parted.

    Could be Murdoch or could be you, if he succeeds.

    When you pay for content on the internet it usually means you give up your real life identity. That combined with what you think (i.e. read) is an extremely valuable commodity.

    It is also information that can be used against you should it come to that. It infringes on your right to privacy and to hold your own thoughts. It is why authorities shouldn't know what you check out of the library.

    The internet offers tremendous cost savings over print. Murdoch is an extremely greedy man and too stupid to know how to successfully associate content with advertisement or advertisement with content. Or to successfully make the argument that ads should be paid for even if they aren't clicked on.

    The identity driven information Murdoch could glean from you is even greater than anything Google ever imagined.

  100. chochazel


    If he seriously thinks it's reasonable to charge the same for a day's access to a website that he would for a physical newspaper, he's insane. A newspaper is printed on actual paper, with actual ink, with machines that consume power, run by people who need paying. It's delivered in lorries by people who need paying, then processed at depots, then delivered again, then sold in retail establishments, who themselves take account for around 20% of the cost..

    Distribution costs for newspaper account for roughly 50% of the cost.


    While 70-80% of revenue comes from advertising.


    So he's :

    - charging the same price to the casual reader as he would for a print edition that costs twice as much to produce.

    - thereby making the casual readers, the very people who he needs to attract in order to increase readership, subsidise his own flawed business model

    - thereby reducing to near zero the proportion of casual readers

    - thereby severely reducing the advertising money which accounts for the vast majority of revenue anyway

    Explain how this can possibly work? Just because they can't all run at a profit at the moment, it doesn't mean they should perform suicide. Print is dying, the subscribers are dying of old age, the internet is the future with its low cost of distribution. He's lancing himself out of the online news business.

  101. Andus McCoatover

    Back to the library then

    Unfortunately, like in the "good old pub-restricted-opening-hours" days (daze?), I can't go to the library at pub-opening hours, when the drunks have warmed up enough to bugger off reading the papers for another session after the lunchtime spasm.

    Oh, well, living abroad, I guess I'll make do with 3-day-old news. No change there, then.

    Incidentally, I notice the other major dailies aren't exactly shouting "We won't charge!"... What's not said is often more important than what is....

    One thing I can't understand is NI's acceptance of the loss of advertising revenue. If the Times, et. al. continue adverts, it's just an expensive version of the same. Damn hard to click on a link in the paper version.

  102. blackworx
    Thumb Down

    I'll pay a quid a day...

    ...for my newspaper once it's as portable and accessible as the paper version. And by that I don't mean on a puny little iPhone screen.

    But I wouldn't pay it for the Times.

  103. Craigness

    Has anyone else had this reaction to the news?

  104. Christian Berger

    I would gladly pay for good news

    However I do not want to pay for PR and propaganda.

  105. Aron


    At least behind a paywall all the commenter trolls with their weird conspiracy theories about the extreme evil of Murdoch (basically anti-Semitism aimed at an Aussie Scot because they think he has a Jewy sounding name) and all their global warming hysteria crap can be left on the Guardian's site.

  106. Anonymous Coward


    I won't even use news sites that require a free registration, so paying for access is completely out of the question when I can get the same news from myriads of other free websites.

    Still I'm sure there are enough suckers in the world to keep them limping along.

  107. rpjs


    I used to buy the Grauniad daily, until the cover price hit £1 and I decided it was just too expensive.

    I now read it through their iPhone app, which was (IIRC) priced around £2 with all content free. (I find their iPhone app very useful as it allows batch downloads for off-line reading and my commute involves a lot of travelling through tunnels where there's no internet access)

    I'd happlly pay per article, say a penny or two per read as I don;t think I come close to reading 100 articles each day. Just so long as I can download the data for offline reading and have the micropayments for what I actually read processed next time I'm online.

  108. Steve Bush

    Times value is (WAS) in its readers comments

    It is OUT OF THE QUESTION that the times online is worth 110 pounds a year! It is valued for its READERS COMMENTS which will largely disappear now.

  109. Dan 55 Silver badge

    The Independent had a paywall years ago

    Now it doesn't.

    That is all.

  110. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How Papers Use Websites

    Newspapers and magazines use their paper publications to drive traffic to their websites in order to up their hit count so that advertsisers will pay more. I suppose it's a form of click fraud. How many times do you see a competition or special offer where the only way to enter is to visit the website? How many articles push in the direction of the website for "the latest updates" or "more information"? And how often in these cases do you have to click through to another site? How often is there no more information? It's all about driving traffic to the website, not about giving the reader an improved experience.

    But given Roop's new model this is going to have to change. Imagine you've paid for a copy of The TImes (I know it's a stretch, but try to imagine it). Now imagine you're reading some content that directs you to the website. Are you going to have to pay to access the site? Presumably not the first page, but click on anything on that page and you'll be asked to pay. How many people who've already coughed for a paper are going to pay to access the website?

    All of which is going to drive down the traffic to the site, which will in turn drive down what Roop can charge advertisers.

  111. Paul Stockwell
    Big Brother

    Surely theres a perfectly good existing Model...?

    Perhaps I am a bit slow here but Google seems to do very well out of paid for links and advertising and surely the times online can do the same?

    This seems to be the currently favoured internet model and while we may not all be totlally fond of Google they seem to be able to afford to try taking over the online world using that revenue.

    Advertising is nothing new to the Times either, originally the front page was entirely adverts!

    Will it be a success? Depends on the yardstick you use for judging as some people will undoubtedly subscribe but with all the free news out there anyone prepared to do a bit of searching can get their news, even if the Conservatives do shut down BBC web. That would be stupid though as whatever we think in the UK loads of people overseas use the site and it inherently does get a UK point of view over.

    But the Guardian website has become one of the most read by not using this model so overall this just seems like a desperate attempt to hold onto the 'good old days' when people brought newspapers and paid for news

  112. Hugh McIntyre

    @ Paul Stockwell

    RE: "Perhaps I am a bit slow here but Google seems to do very well out of paid for links and advertising and surely the times online can do the same?"

    Google doesn't employ reporters in faraway countries such as Afghanistan to collect news. They just aggregate links to stories written by people who do. (And newspapers have complained about this, of course).

    As for the Times's move, I have to agree that 1 pound/day and 2 pounds/week seem too high to succeed. I would have to hope there's either a lower monthly/longer rate, or that it would have been a better tactical idea to start at a lower price of 25-40p/day, and then maybe ratchet this up in future if/when some subscribers are already on board.

    I would not be at all surprised if the prices when this really launches are different. Maybe.

This topic is closed for new posts.