Thursday, June 17, 2010

The best things in life are free

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.

1 comment:

  1. I'd rather eat my foot than give him a penny and honestly, like you, I just can't see it working. The news coverage is similar to the Telegraph. I prefer the Indy, and there's always the BBC to balance the Telegraph for political bias.

    It's a pity that there isn't a quality Scottish newspaper. The Retard and the Hootsman insult Fish and Chips as a wrapper. The Herald could be reasonable if it tried, but it doesn't.

    I'm not sure why Rupert tried this one on. The climb down will be humiliating, if it happens, which we must hope and expect it will. It didn't work the last time he tried it. Why would it now when there is ever more choice out there?