News Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch’s paywall leap encourages media converts

“Online news, video, and music providers are becoming increasingly open to charging for at least part of their content as paywall experiments by pioneers like London’s Times show that some customers will pay,” Matthew Campbell and Amy Thomson report for Bloomberg. “Music-video streaming site Vevo, Huffington Post owner AOL Inc. (AOL), and London’s Independent newspaper said this month they may introduce paid subscriptions, joining The New York Times and London’s Times in charging for online material.

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“Paywall advocates have had some success convincing Internet readers to sign up for subscriptions. New York Times Co., which began charging heavy users of its namesake paper’s website in March, has signed up more than 100,000 people for online subscriptions that start at $15 a month, it said in April,” Campbell and Thomson report. “London’s Times, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., had 80,000 paid online subscribers as of March.”

Campbell and Thomson report, “‘The mood is changing,’ said Charlie Beckett, the director of the Polis media research unit at the London School of Economics. ‘Murdoch and the New York Times have taken the leap, and that encourages people. It’s still a leap.'”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Brawndo Drinker” for the heads up.]


  1. Newspapers need a means to survive apart from selling newsprint. I don’t know how the advertising model is working for them given that there are less eyeballs on their online webpages but I’m sure that’s being offset by subscription revenue. I don’t mind reading right wing rags or left wing loonies as long as there’s solid news and good writing within the paper. 

    In fact I think there’s minimal political hectoring in either the Times or the NY Times. But I haven’t read the Times in a long while because of Murdoch’s paywall so I don’t know if their editorial quality has declined in the meantime. But the NY Times is always a good read.

  2. The NYT paywall is more a Maginot Line. Easily bypassed.

    Murdoch’s New York Post blocks iPads. Until a way to bypass is found, readers may go elsewhere.

    People are used to free. With some exceptions, the masses will continue to look for free.

    1. It probably blocks mobile safari, which there are browsers out there that report desktop versions.

      I have terra (i think that’s what it’s called) you can change to report as a number of browsers.

      I’ll have to use it to go to the NYP later and see. I never go there normally though.

    2. I contacted the Detroit Free Press to ask for exactly the opposite – I want to pay a subscription to receive the Detroit Free Press or Detroit News on my iPad via Newsstand when it’s released with iOS 5. I was told the Free Press and News would NOT be supporting iPad or iPhone, but if I wanted to, I could always read their paper for free via their website on either my iPad or iPhone. When they go bankrupt, I won’t be surprised.

  3. “Music-video streaming site Vevo… may introduce paid subscriptions, joining The New York Times and London’s Times in charging for online material.”

    Sorry moneybags Rupert et al: FAIL

    The only place paywalls work is for professional work where you make money from what you access.

    Joe and Jane Blow consistently blow-off paywalls. Free alternatives WIN.

    It’s a dead issue, despite Rupert’s misguided necromancy. 😈

  4. Somebody is paying for your online content. Nothing in this world is free. I’d rather pay the 50 cents / day that have some unknown entity bias my content.

    1. With Rupert you at least know he has biased the news to his personal financial benefit, otherwise not giving a rat’s about the quality of the content.

      Liberal bias? Conservative bias? Just give me money.

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