back to article Telegraph to charge for online news

The Telegraph will begin charging for news online from next year, according to a report. The newspaper, which was the first UK national to publish on the web, will join The Times in requiring payment for access, The FT - which itself charges for online business news - reports. The move will leave liberal-leaners The Guardian …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    No mention of the increased IT efficieny achieved by the times?

    As I understand, the Times has managed to reduce it's web hosting requirements by around 80% by erecting a paywall.

    Clearly others want to follow....

    1. bexley

      erm...

      ...because far less people go there now?

    2. Doug Glass
      Go

      Exactly

      No upkeep and overheads for corpses.

    3. Beelzeebub
      FAIL

      Yes...

      ... but as the article says, is it profitable?

    4. Paul Johnston
      Joke

      Because now!

      It's running on an old 386 under somebodies desk!

      If Amazon managed to drop their number of visitors by 80% would they trumpet the reduction in their carbon emissions?

    5. Daniel B.
      Thumb Up

      However...

      A newspaper that nobody reads is a newspaper that can't influence people, which is what conservative newspapers usually try to do. When the Torygraph moves to PPR (pay-per-read) system, the liberal leaning newspapers will be the only ones remaining as a free service.

      Not that it isn't a good thing ... if only the nutty conservative newspapers in the US did the same...

      1. SkippyBing
        WTF?

        @However

        Whereas liberal leaning newspapers are paragons of un-biased reporting that make no attempt to influence people?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Influence

        Yes, conservative newspapers try to influence people, but so do left-of-centre newspapers.

    6. Some Beggar
      FAIL

      Somebody telephone the LSE

      you may have discovered a whole new business model!

      If they reduced their online readership to ... oh ... zero ... they could reduce costs by 100%. And if their paper readership drops to zero they can reduce their printing and distribution costs by 100%. Then they can sack all their journalists and editors ... why ... eventually their costs could all be reduced to zero!

  2. Keith 21

    I bet...

    I'll bet that the MPs in the previous parliament are all wishing that the Telegraph was already pay-to-view-online before the expenses scandals broke out!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Because...

      ... they would have asked for a cut? "I'll steal money, give you a good story, and you give me a cut from your profits on this story".

  3. Martin 19
    Unhappy

    As someone who likes a balanced news diet;

    I'm already lamenting the effective disappearance of the Times from my daily reading. I will also miss the Telegraph.

    The real horror of the situation is being left with the 'right wing' stupidity of the Mail and the 'left wing' stupidity of the Guarniad, with the general 'how can we miss the point completely today' stupidity of the Indy and the BBC. (Excluding the wonderful, if narrow, coverage of El Reg of course ;) )

    Remember kids, stupidity + stupidity = stupidity.

    Well never mind. Recently the Telegraph seems to have been on a "how can we get all angry about absolutely nothing like The Daily Mail does?" mission anyway.

    1. Steve X
      Unhappy

      Bad move

      The Telegraph is (well, was, standards have been slipping over the past few years) one of the better-written newspapers around. It was biased, but made no secret of that bias, so you could mentally subtract it when required. At least you could read it without fuming over the grammar, spelling and general poor English of alternatives like the Grauniad.

      It was bad enough when the online crossword went pay, if the whole paper goes that way I'll stop reading it online, and it's really hard to see any decent alternatives. My company used to have a Wall Street Journal subscription, maybe that's still around.

      More to the point, where are Lewis, Lester & co. going to get their leads from? Will El Reg take out a sub, or do you all have a whip round to buy the paper version?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bad move

        >At least you could read it without fuming over the grammar, spelling and general poor English

        Not recently, standards have been falling rapidly and the number of times they repeat times they repeat a few words is so frequent it's past annoying.

  4. Russell Long

    Can't see how this will work as a revenue generator.

    The FT gets away with it, AFAICT, because they have a specific market that they're targetting and they produce original, high-quality copy. The Telegraph does not. There are interesting commentators - Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, the Cassandra of the Telegraph, is a good read - but the quality of the actual news they publish is atrocious. If they stick up a paywall, who's going to bother paying to read the same unresearch, poor-quality guff they can read on every other site?

  5. Anonymous John
    Unhappy

    Nooo!!!!

    I'll have to pay just for the Matt cartoon?

  6. Robinson

    Typical.

    I used to read the Times online but when they went behind the pay-wall, I switched to the Telegraph. I don't really have a strong enough stomach for the Guardian (or the Observer come to think of it) and I'm 100% sure I'm not going to pay for access. It's a real shame but pretty soon I'll only be able to access BBC News!

  7. Shusui

    I hope ...

    ... that the online Telegraph will serve up more 'real' news and analysis in its paying form. I'm very tired of the fashion rubbish, the cutesy animal pics, the celeb reports or what Google has put on its search page — that's news?

    I wouldn't pay for it in its present state.

  8. Doug Glass
    Go

    No, no, no ...

    ... nobody can actually charge. People buy, which is a lot different since the buyer has the choice, the charge may or may not be real.

  9. Corbis
    Thumb Down

    Shrinking Violets

    For me, The Times was once a must visit site at least once a day, every day. But no more. Also judging by the huge numbers of comments there it was heavily visited by folks from overseas too. While it certainly cost a lot of money to provide the online service you have to wonder how much its going to cost them to get the same level of 'brand awareness' through other promotional activities like traditional advertising etc?

    Sure, we all like free but as the news is such a people centric resource its seems somewhat short-sighted to cut out not only its consumer but to make yourself remote from the originators.

    From a personal point of view, I'm politically inclined to head for The Times or the Telegraph for my news but now find myself increasingly reading the Independent or Guardian. The conservative tenant of free market forces? The irony isn't lost on me... but the loss of another centre-right voice is.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    When will they learn

    The only time I might consider paying for news is when the news reported is factual, indepth & unbiased. I'm really not interested in the slanted opinions of Journalists.

    I wish the Guardian would put a pay wall up. Might be quite interesting to see the effect.

    The BBC News website used to be sort of OK, a long time ago, but now its site is more of a cartoon, low on facts & low on content, written by the 20 something trendies. I can just see offices full of Viz's modern parents (Malcolm and Cressida Wright-Pratt) pumping out their view on how horrid the US and Israel is, the brave palestinians, wimmins rights, ethical issues in London etc.

    Pity about the Telegraph, I used to enjoy their finance section.

    Wonder if "The Times" finances are OK. I suppose they will have to try to adjust to a new business model, just like the record industry did (Chuckle).

    How about pay per article? Like to see that in the Indie, then Julie Burchill and Johann Hari might have to write something meaningful.

    Back to my vintage copies of the Viz.

    1. lIsRT
      Thumb Up

      "Back to my vintage copies of the Viz."

      That, and the Economist, are the only periodicals I'd consider paying for with things the way they are at the moment.

  11. Adam Trickett
    Linux

    If only some others would follow...

    If the Sun, The Daily Mail and Daily Express were to follow that would be a big improvement to the quality of the news on the web...

    But seriously if they can get more money from paying subscribers that from advertisers, why shouldn't they charge?

    Personally I find much of the new content the same, it's hardly worth paying for, the editorials are different - but I don't think I'd pay for most of them.

  12. Steven Hollis
    FAIL

    Readership

    Well that one way to cut the readership.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    But shirley...

    ...I mean, they must be among the "most-visited" websites /because/ they're free, right? And if they start charging, then some other paper becomes "most-visited" instead.

  14. bill 36

    I agree keith

    BUT!!!

    "expenses scandal" is the spin phrase.

    " theft" is the correct term.

  15. FordPrefect
    Thumb Up

    Go right ahead :)

    Telegraph, sun and times can all feel free to charge for there right wing tory opinionated garbage. However please leave the mail free, I love reading the comments on there they are so funny. Plus I know if I start agreeing with the comments with lots of green arrows its time to worry xD

    1. Can't think of anything witty...
      Headmaster

      Go Left ahead...

      "Telegraph, sun and times can all feel free to charge for there right wing..."

      Judging by your confusion of "there" and "their" along with your anti-right stance, I'm assuming that you are a writer at the Guardian?

      :)

  16. Wokstation
    FAIL

    So...

    "Telegraph.co.uk is currently the third most-visited UK newspaper website" - not for long, eh?

  17. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Happy

    sliding downhill

    The DT's been sliding downhill for a few years - it's entertaining to see how the Tories think but the level of content took a nosedive about three years ago. There seems to be a theme here - first the content turns to crap - then they hide it.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well...

    Hopefully I'll still be able to view the Matt comic for free...

  19. Kubla Cant Silver badge
    Unhappy

    I used to pay...

    ...for a hard-copy Times in the days when I dined off dinosaur steaks in my cave. The paper seemed like reasonable value for about £1.

    I took to reading The Times online when I had to leave home before the paper was delivered. It seemed a pretty inferior substitute, so as soon as the charge was introduced I switched to the Telegraph and Independent online editions. I'll stop reading those too as soon as I'm expected to pay.

    I'm a regular, some would say excessive, user of the interwebs, and I regularly visit sites like the Reg. But publishers seem to have failed to transfer the pleasures of newspaper-reading to the web. The sites are too hierarchical and deep. The regular experience of following an interesting link and finding you read the article a few days ago is annoying. You just can't, er, browse the content.

  20. Jan 0 Silver badge

    A shame

    As someone who was a subscriber back around '93/94? I was surprised and delighted when the content was made available to all. (You didn't have to pay back then - you just needed an id and password). When we were subscribers, it seemed inevitable that they'd start charging us. Making it free for all seemed to signal and end to that possibility. How wrong I was!

    I hope the subscription model fails. 'Though I don't like its politics, I respect the journalistic effort that goes into the Telegraph. It's not my first choice, but I buy it from time to time and I'd like to be able to continue to search and read its old content online. Doesn't the online content of newspapers encourage people to buy the paper? Surely it's a cost effective form of advertising?

    Where's the Netscape Navigator icon when you need it?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Troll

    Tory Trolls

    Great! We have enough cheapskate, Tory Trolls on the Guardian Comment is Free boards. Now we'll have Colonel Huffington-Puffington (ret'd) telling us that National Service will solve all the country's problems.

    1. Mickey Finn
      WTF?

      Mirror mirror...

      And this comment is not lefty trolling?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Troll

        There's a clue in the

        icon. You can't say you weren't warned.

  22. Mark Dowling
    Thumb Down

    Sad to see, but probably inevitable

    Torygraph was among the leaders in putting content on line, especially having internal links to archived related stories within article copy. Now everyone has caught up and money is tight.

  23. HaplessPoet
    FAIL

    sad sad day

    When they think people will pay to read the Telegraph online

    The only way they get people to read it on paper is to give it away if you buy a bottle of water.

    There is no point charging for anything on the net as someone will always be offering the same thing free.

    Good luck to them

  24. LinkOfHyrule
    FAIL

    @ dumb newspapers with paywalls

    I've never enjoyed reading newspapers in their dead tree format. I have grown up with the firstly the TV news and then interwebz. I have never paid for news. Go behind your paywall, see if I and those like me care. Watch as your readership dwindles, meanwhile I'll be getting my news for free elsewhere (free being ad funded - you remember advertisers right? You used to have them when you had a readership!)

    haha, they'll regret it every-time there's a huge story that in the past would have generated loads of page views and only their twenty-thousand or so subscribers can actually get to read it!

  25. heyrick Silver badge

    Logic fault?

    "The online readership of The Times has plummeted since it introduced charging, but it remains unclear whether it will be judged a commercial success."

    In what alternate reality is "commercial success" defined by plummeting readership? They will scrape by but eventually be read by few and carry the ability to influence fewer. This might make sense in the short term to a myopic beancounter, but in the long term, surely it is only a damage?

    I think our local "Ouest-France" has it about right. Much of the news is on-line, but specialist local stories either refer you to the paper, or sit behind a paywall. The only thing that sucks is printed and on-line subscriptions are separate, and cost about the same. You really ought to get an option for a reduction on one if you have the other (esp. severely reduced on-line if you're paying for the delivery of a 'real' paper version). Still, it's a start. I go to the site for headlines and weather, and if anything looks worth reading, I'll pop down the bar-tabac and get myself a copy. If it was *all* behind a paywall, I'd just find a different paper to read.

  26. JaitcH
    FAIL

    Great idea! Protecting the impressionable from bad information.

    What a great scheme. It seems that all the squares of this world are busy building yet another walled world.

    How will they propagate their pap?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    No!

    I'm willing to pay for news providing it is un-biased, timely, and accurate; unfortunately the UK press offers none or these.

  28. bugalugs
    Happy

    sorry got distracted. the croc's got a tummy ache and the dog's missing

    OT

    Is it just me or does the close proximity of Brewery Square, Copper Row and Horselydown Lane say something ?

  29. gautam
    Paris Hilton

    When will they learn?

    To adopt new distribution models AND to provide worthwhile content ? Its like squeezing juice from an ever shrinking lemon, rather than growing and sourcing a few more.

    One more bites the dust.

    Lessons from MPAA, RIAA et al are still not learnt. Typically British disease, the eiptome of which ws our last PM. Squeeze the middle class motorists, let councils screw them further, no investment in infrastructure, AND THEN PAY THE BANKERS 170 BILLION OF OUR MONEY FOR THEIR GREED.

    Wonder who are Telegraph's financial advisers to want to do this!

    Paris, since I dont need to learn anything new with her.

  30. gautam

    Another one?

    WOndering if anyone can shed some more light on thelatest Times Online subscription figures! WOuld make very interestign reading.

  31. gerryg

    It's the model

    If I buy a paper I buy "The Times". If I don't buy a paper I don't pay for it.

    I used to read the website and probably still would if I could buy a day's access for, I dunno, 25p. I'd even go with a pre-pay model. I just don't like the idea of subscribing.

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