Political Betting's Mike Smithson poses the question 'are you going to pay to keep reading the Times online?', and makes this prediction - "If this succeeds then one thing’s for sure - the other newspaper websites will follow." Just as well it's not going to succeed, then - or at least (lest those words come back to haunt me), I'm struggling to see how it can as things stand. Other online editions of newspapers are now going to gain a competitive advantage, and may well start to see revenues gradually increase. After all, who in their right mind is going to fork out substantial sums for a service that is available in equivalent form elsewhere? Even if every newspaper removed free online access to their content, there would still be the BBC news website to turn to - so no great mystery as to why the BBC is the Murdochs' favourite bogey-man at present.
In spite of its political agenda, it is a little bit of a pity to see The Times retreat behind a paywall, as certain sections of the newspaper (Life and Style for instance) are probably superior in quality to other UK newspapers. But with the whole Wild West of new media to fill the breach, that's scarcely going to be sufficient motivation for most people to pay a whopping entrance fee to Uncle Rupert.