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Would you pay for content on the web?

09:49 UK time, Friday, 2 July 2010

The Times newspaper has begun charging readers to access its online content. What would you be happy to pay for on the internet?

News International, which owns the paper, has introduced the charges in response to falling advertising income.

Currently the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal are the only major papers to have similar paywalls.

Will the business model be a success? Are you a Times website reader? Will charging for content save the newspaper industry?

This debate has now been closed. Thank you for your comments.


Page 1 of 5

  • Comment number 1.

    If you google the word "news", you get 2,790,000,000 results.

    So I wish The Times well with their venture, and will stick to the other 2,789,999,999 sources...

  • Comment number 2.

    In a word NO! The Times used to be a good paper but has gone downhill, ditto for its web site, apart from which i can access the same information on free news sites.

  • Comment number 3.

    Whilst I think The Times is a fine newspaper, which I buy 3-4 times a week, I certainly would not pay to view it online. I will now actively avoid the hard-copy of the newspaper if this is their approach to their consumers. 1 x less customer, Telegraph here I come.

  • Comment number 4.

    Isn't the price already included in the newspaper prices? Someone's already paying for it.

  • Comment number 5.

    I am via my licence fee

  • Comment number 6.

    I would definitely pay for serious online news sites. However, it would be news publishers like the Guardian, New Scientist etc., and not the Times.

  • Comment number 7.

    Not a chance.

    It's bad enough that I have to pay for the BBC.

  • Comment number 8.

    For general news, probably not. If I need to have access to news there are other sources which do not charge me, at least not directly.
    If a service is to be provided through payment options, I would expect this to be a specialist service provider, and without annoying pop-ups and other irritating advertising links.
    If News International wants to charge, then I think it needs to convince the paying public that their service is actually worth paying for by providing better coverage, better analysis, etc. However, reading this type of coverage on a screen is a lot less comfortable than reading it on paper. The iPad generation may have a different view, but then anyone who can afford one of these expensive toys probably has more money than sense ;-) and can afford the online subsriptions anyway.
    Personally, I'll probably stick with the BBC. And contrary to what some commentators may say, it's not free as I'm a TV licence payer, and it's all part of the service I get for my annual subscription.

  • Comment number 9.

    The internet is a BIG place.
    There are many more avenues for FREE news.

  • Comment number 10.

    I agree 100% with Jim, comment #1... good luck The Times!

  • Comment number 11.

    If they get 3 hits a week they'll be doing well. Or is this to soften us all up for charging across the board? If this be the case I think we could all do with a break from "the news".

  • Comment number 12.

    How is this a sucessful business model ? They are trying to sell something which is available for free elsewhere in as good if not better quality.

    They have no unique selling points that are worth the level of expenditure they are proposing.

  • Comment number 13.


  • Comment number 14.

    This is only part 1 of Newscorp's plan.

    I suspect part 2 is to use their political connections, specifically the deal made with the conservative party before the election to prevent organisations such as the BBC from providing news content online free or as part of the license fee package.

    Once the all the 'unfair' (to massive global conglomerates) competition has been removed then the 'pay for online news' model becomes perfectly viable.

  • Comment number 15.

    Talk about 'online suicide'...

  • Comment number 16.

    I'll stick with the BBC website thanks. Does Murdoch really expect people to line his pockets even further when there are literally millions of FREE news sources on the internet?!

  • Comment number 17.

    No, I would not be prepared to pay for 'news.' There's a small chance I might pay for specialised informed content but even that's unlikely.

  • Comment number 18.

    Absolutely not.
    No need as there is online media that is free or 24hr news programmes on TV.
    Also, don't access any newspaper online or purchase as I don't find any value in them whatsoever.
    Will it affect me? Not a chance.

  • Comment number 19.

    Why should I pay for something I can get free elsewhere? I stopped purchasing The Times some years ago when it started to go downhill, so I wouldn't pay to see it online.

  • Comment number 20.

    I would happily pay for some web content. However, the rubbish that is represented as "informed comment" or "news" by the mainstream media does not fall into this category.

  • Comment number 21.

    Nope. Why would I?

  • Comment number 22.

    The Times will probably make enough moey from those who pay from company expenses to worry about Joe public

  • Comment number 23.

    6. At 10:33am on 02 Jul 2010, EdwinaTS wrote:

    I would definitely pay for serious online news sites. However, it would be news publishers like the Guardian,


    I love it! someone in all seriousness, without a hint of irony calls the Guardian 'serious' ...

    Thanks for that I needed a laugh to set me up for the day.

  • Comment number 24.

    What are we going to do now!?!?!?! Where are we going to get free news, if only there somewhere on this thing called the Internet that offered news for free... oh wait.

    Of course if 10,000 people decided to buy just one account and share the login details... or if one person paid for an account they could always copy the article to their blog that porports to discuss news and ask people to "discuss it"...

  • Comment number 25.

    The Times are free to charge me whatever they want, I will just find somewhere that doesn't.

    (not that I would ever read the Times anyway, but you get my point)

  • Comment number 26.

    I have no interest in saving the newspaper industry and no desire to pay for any newspaper on line. Given the level of political control in this country it should be possible for any intelligent person to convert the raw data reported on the internet into the kind of newspaper articles we currently read; there are no campaigning journalists, none with new ideas. So why pay?

  • Comment number 27.

    The Times would save huge amount of money if it did away with the numerous supplements and glossy magazine, most of which are binned.

    To be fair, this applies to most newspapers including the free ones.

    A properties for sale supplement should be available to purchase not included as a freebis.

  • Comment number 28.

    I would pay if I considered it value for money, otherwise forget it. There are many other sources of news.

  • Comment number 29.

    No. There is plenty of free online news so why would any sane person pay to look at the Sun.

  • Comment number 30.

    I think it is perfectly reasonable to charge people to read what you are distributing if you have paid those who write the material.

    However, in order for this to work all the news channels would need to charge. If I can get my news for free elsewhere I will but if everyone is charging for news then I will choose a site to pay for, whether that be times, BBC etc

  • Comment number 31.

    23, good comment, surely no one takes the Guardian seriously.

  • Comment number 32.

    I agree with some of the above comments. The Times always used to advertise itself as the 'Top People's Newspaper'

    That was a long time ago.

    I wouldn't pay for the online version but if the paper version gives dvds away I might be tempted to buy one of them.

    The paper would be handy for putting potato peelings in and lighting the fire.

  • Comment number 33.

    Oh dear!

    What happened to the Times?

    Used to be a great paper, now thats all gone and now they are expecting people to pay for the news online.

    Oh, how the mighty have fallen.....

  • Comment number 34.

    I would never pay for news, especially from a company owned by News International.

  • Comment number 35.

    I like nothing more to cycle into the nearest town, pick up a printed copy of The Times, read the news and then attempt the crossword.

    Not only does a digital version make this nigh on impossible but I deplore The Times' payment structure in that if I wish to do the crossword then I have to pay for an EXTRA subscription.

    With the dead tree model the newspaper is portable, I only have to pay for it once. I can cut bits out, scrawl on it and then shove it into my pocket and read it sitting at the bar of my local. A digital version has none of these advantages.

  • Comment number 36.

    With the Beeb as my main source of info! No!. There is no way I would trust a Murdoch rag to tell the truth about anything, even the Times is suspect. You can never hope to bribe,nor twist, thank God, the British journalist. But knowing what the man, unbribed, will do, you'll never have occasion to.

  • Comment number 37.

    If it was pure unbiased objective reporting, then it might be worth paying for. News is never unbiased, all sources have an agenda. And the very nature of capitalising on access to it makes it biased in itself, should people only get the truth if they pay for it ? Its doomed to failure.

  • Comment number 38.

    The BBC seem to be obsessed with this topic. This must be the 3rd or 4th time it's come up on HYS. They ignore the fact that we already pay for the (yes, excellent) BBC website through our license fee.

    I don't understand why so many people are outraged by the idea of paying for news and analysis. Would you expect the newspaper to be free? Times online has many of the same high quality articles and columns as you find in the paper, so why shouldn't it cost? Caitlin Moran put the argument across far better than I can in the paper the other week. That's the difference between reading my blogs and a professional journalist.

  • Comment number 39.

    Problem with the 'national' newspapers is that being based in London all they ever write about is London.

    More precisely the 'journalists' write little columns about their own little lives and expect the rest of us to pay for it. I'm not bothered about the price of white wine in Hampstead or Islington that's their problem.

  • Comment number 40.

    I can find plenty of news on the web without paying for it thanks. By using multiple sources I can also find out what's true and what's not.

  • Comment number 41.

    Certainly not in the news area. The good thing about an open infrastructure like the internet is that if several of the bigger players opt for Pay as you Read or subscription services, others will seize the opportunity to provide a free service. If not, well I'll just have the TV in my office on a bit more.

    I can understand that these days its hard to make money by running a newspaper. But that's an issue the newspapers have to resolve by adding more value, not by trying to make the competition less attractive. Clue. By the time stuff hits a newspaper and I get round to reading same, its "olds" not "news". Getting better national/international news coverage is not the answer for them.

    Just in case the BBC are looking at this issue carefully for themselves. I pay a licence fee. If you charge for accessing news on the net you can absolutely rely on the fact that I'll be off.

    Outside the news area I have occasionally opted to pay for specific knowledge-based content in the travel and computer/photographic areas. I never seem to make as much use as i thought I would and always forget to cancel. So I need to be more circumspect from now on.

  • Comment number 42.

    I've just deleted my Times bookmark. Goodbye. There's no way I'm paying those prices for the 20 minutes a day, or so, I spend on their site.

  • Comment number 43.

    It is not unreasonable for newspapers to charge for their online content, as they invest a lot of money in producing that content. But to get people to pay for it they will have to provide something that other news sources don’t have.

    At the moment I don’t see any particular value of the online news from The Times, compared to the BBC, other newspapers, and press agencies such as Reuters. I think that the only people who will pay for the Times online are a few hard core Times readers who believe that there is no truth outside the Times. And I guess that they are a dying race anyway.

  • Comment number 44.

    This seems like a carefully thought-out strategy by Mr Murdoch, who's not known for being stupid. By counting the drop in registrations from when access to his newspapers was free to when he started charging, he will be able to quantify how much free content providers, and in particular the BBC, are costing him.
    When he presents his case for curbing the power of the BBC to the Conservatives (whom he helped during the election) his arguments will have the added credibility of numbers to back them up.

  • Comment number 45.

    I imagine only very committed Times readers will pay for content, as there are many free news sources on the web, including the BBC.

    As much as I understand why they need to charge, viewing hits will probably fall sharply.

    If they find that they make plenty of money with the people willing to pay, then I guess that's the most important thing.

  • Comment number 46.

    Answer: No! On the very few occasions I read a paper newspaper, I would just go out and buy one. There still is plenty of news and information available on the web without having to pay extra for it.

  • Comment number 47.

    There are certain things I might pay for online but not the fashion and lifestyle advice that newspapers seem to have become these days.

  • Comment number 48.

    "The days of paying for news papers {Adverts} have long gone, with W.W.W. you can read real news 24x7 days a week for free.

  • Comment number 49.

    I personally don't see the problem in paying for news... I mean obviously I would rather not, and would seek out free news sites, however, journalism isn't free, and advertising is just not funding enough anymore. People will pay for a hardcopy newspaper but not for the same if not more news online?

    I will say it's too expensive.. £1 is ridiculous. I would pay 40p or 50p a day but I won't pay a £1. Nor would I pay £2 a week, because I don't buy a paper every day and I would't read the website everyday to get my money's worth.

  • Comment number 50.

    I would consider paying for the guardian, if there was no other similar source for free news available... for the conservative/anti-social/nasty party leanings of the so-called journalism in the Times - no. There's enough free news around.

  • Comment number 51.

    As was proved in the election there is NO unbiased news reporting anymore all stories are slanted to what the reporter wants you to believe. As for govt reporting Now theres a story that is economical with the truth. Besides the news papers and the internet would have you believe you cant do without them. Sorry fellas you are a convenience only and If you want to start charging you will go the same way as that other "cant live without appliance and I will confine you to the bin just like the television. There is another life out there after all

  • Comment number 52.

    Show me a news paper on the web that doesnt have loads of adverts.

    The actual costs of maintaining an internet news paper are VERY substantially lower than a paper production.

    The newspapers basically build a newspaper on computers, before it goes to print, for an internet version they basically just click a button to transfere it all so it can be accessed, they then have ANY of the printing costs or distribution costs, they DONT have to send truck/train loads of papers hundreds of miles away to the corners of our country and then distributed via a vast network of smaller delivery vehicles, incidently most of which will lose their jobs, as well as significantly reduce the income of train operators etc etc.

    MOST NEWS comes from central sources, it is then basically re-hashed in the style of an opinionated reporter/writer who meets the opinion criterea of editors/owners.

    The costs of providing such a service are MINIMAL in comparison to paper news provision and can and should just be met via advertising.

    Some newspaper companys will no doubtedly go under, but just by current evidence/facts, I expect those that will survive will be broken into 2 camps, the ones which provide nude/semi nude pictures of women and those that dont. I wonder which will have greater readership!!!!

    I think we all know that reality.

  • Comment number 53.

    Since the Times staled charging, I've just been reading the news on other sites. It's a lost option but their reporting quality was often poor anyway. I might pay for news and other content online - but only if bundled with the collection costing me less - significantly -than printed copy.

  • Comment number 54.

    I already buy The Times at £1 per day and £1.50 on Saturday. This should include access to its website (only free if I buy a pre-paid subscription!)

  • Comment number 55.

    No. The big problem that the Times have, is that the BBC put out lots of news on their website free of charge. I know the Times and others are lobbying behind the scenes to get the BBC to reduce their content. I suspect in the end they will suceed, but I will still never pay for website access, I much prefer to acquire a newspaper.

  • Comment number 56.

    I might, but they needed a better argument. The argument is simply this is the way that Murdoch thinks it should be done i.e. I want to make more money.

    All newspaper sites are now loaded with online advertising that I suspect covers the costs of offering it for free.

  • Comment number 57.

    Before the access to the internet became commonplace, the only people who were able to publish were those with sufficient money and power to own publishing or printing companies. What the internet has done is to allow anyone with an internet account to be able to publish all manner of content generally for free (or at least for no charge other than their usual monthly ISP fee). That is why people in power fear the net so much (and of course, why they spend so much time making up horror stories to put people off using it..."shock horror! child porn at every turn!!" etc etc).

    So there are massive numbers of free services offering news and information of all kinds, and I tend to use those.

    I don't even buy newspapers so I certainly wouldn't pay to read content online!

    Whether their business model will work or not I guess depends on how many people would prefer to pay for brainwash instead of freely roaming the net.

    Theres a lot of idiots out there, but something tells me there aren't THAT many!

  • Comment number 58.

    Pay Rupert Murdoch for content I can get from the BBC or other free sources?

    It shows everyone at News International has a sense of humour at least.They need to understand the Times is not Sky. Even Sky will suffer in the future from various i-players and YouTube deliver tailored content to end users.

    Absolutely no way would I pay for content from any newspaper with the sole exceptions of the Economist of the FT. The rest are simply rags or comics atempting to pedal a political agenda seriously lacking any value added content.

  • Comment number 59.

    As has already been pointed out most people will just look for their news elsewhere, I don't see why the Times or Rupert Murdock think that charging for website access is going to draw more people in.

    In my experience the Times has only really been good for the occasional feature article, most of the news content is little better than any other national news paper with the added problem of requiring a damm sight more patience to sit down and read through.

  • Comment number 60.

    I already pay for using the net through a monthly subscription to my ISP, so I will not be paying for a site I have never visited anyway. The beauty of the net is that the vast majority of the sites are free, it should stay that way.

  • Comment number 61.

    This is really ironic considering Ocado (the home delivery supermarket) was giving a free paper version of the Times with every home grocery delivery whether you wanted it or not (I liked it.... nice sturdy highly absorbent broadsheets and lots of them. Ideal for painting on)

    That apart there's plenty of free news or news I'm forced to pay for (that means you BBC) . I love all the Guardian-istas on this page though. You'd pay for a newsource that claimed (last time I read it) that Britain gave away Palestine to the Israelis in 1948 (nearly 1000 British servicemen were killed there 45-48) You pay for a newspaper that prints factually incorrect nonsense like this? No wonder Murdoch thinks he CAN charge for his content. I presume there's just as many right wing idiots as left wing ones who'll happily pay for propaganda as long it supports what they already believe in.

  • Comment number 62.

    Nope. I already pay for access via my broadband prescription. There are enough free news sites already - The Times cannot, in anyway, offer me something that isn't already on offer.

    I understand that the papers are struggling with sales and are looking at how to secure revenue streams but charging a pound to access their site isn't the way.

    At the end of the day, the BBC do or try to give free access to good quality reporting - free insofar as I pay a license fee.

    In a way, I pay twice for the same news. The Times charging to enter their site? No thanks.

  • Comment number 63.

    I recall this topic coming up before when they were just floating the idea. I haven't changed my opinion in the meantime.

    Which is to say no.

    I'm reminded of an episode of the simpsons when the school class met a journalist:

    'nelson: haw haw! your medium is dying!

    principal skinner: nelson!

    nelson: but it's true!'

  • Comment number 64.

    Only if the free stuff is less good than the paid for.

  • Comment number 65.

    The Times can do what it wants but I won't be paying for similar content that is freely available elsewhere.

    They are setting a bad example which will set the standard if enough people sign up to it. Should all the other publications follow this business model I would still refuse to pay.

    The internet increasingly being choked by restrictive business practice and marketing agencies, trying to make a buck out of every corner. Adverts before videos, full page ads, pop-ups, adverts in emails, ads in social networking sites. Wherever people go these marketing brain-stormers follow like a very bad smell, sniffing out loose change like sleazy vagrants.

    Hopefully the public won't buy into this idea so the publications would either have to bring down the money wall or take the site down all together.

  • Comment number 66.

    No, but I think this is the shape of things to come. The IPad is the game changer in this regard.

  • Comment number 67.

    I buy the Sunday Times most weeks and the paper lasts me a week.

    They have made a mistake if they think internet users will pay to access their site - I certainly will not and I may switch my Sunday allegiance to The Observer!

  • Comment number 68.

    21 killed in shootout between drug, migrant traffi...
    US aid office under attack in north Afghanistan: p...
    US lawmakers pass Afghan war funding..
    know it all

  • Comment number 69.

    I like many others have stopped reading "The Times" online once it advised it was charging and have no intention of returning whilst it charges for it's content.Let's face it why would I pay for news content that I can find elsewhere for free on the net at present ?

  • Comment number 70.

    Construction News already tried this and flopped.
    The Construction Index (Free) stepped in and is a soaring success.
    Charge at your peril.
    Someone is always out there waiting to fill your boots!

  • Comment number 71.

    If the content was A) worth it and B) unique enough to warrent paying for I would.

    In this case? It's news and I can get that from any number of different sources so no I wouldn't.

  • Comment number 72.

    Why in the hell would i pay for lies and propaganda? mainstream news including the bbc are only good for the weather as everything that is broadcast/published is watered down or just outright propaganda, asking to pay for that is like asking to pay for your eyes to be poke out, pffftt

  • Comment number 73.

    No ...

    Simply because a PC screen is not conducive, for me, as a newspaper reader, similarly the screen of a laptop.
    Provide 2 * iPads (2 adults in household) in a reasonably priced subscription and I may consider it.

  • Comment number 74.

    23. At 10:55am on 02 Jul 2010, Phosgene Gash wrote:
    6. At 10:33am on 02 Jul 2010, EdwinaTS wrote:

    I would definitely pay for serious online news sites. However, it would be news publishers like the Guardian,


    I love it! someone in all seriousness, without a hint of irony calls the Guardian 'serious' ...

    Thanks for that I needed a laugh to set me up for the day.
    Me too! I thought I was hallucinating when I saw it!!

  • Comment number 75.

    50. At 11:41am on 02 Jul 2010, Coxy wrote:
    I would consider paying for the guardian, if there was no other similar source for free news available... for the conservative/anti-social/nasty party leanings of the so-called journalism in the Times - no. There's enough free news around
    Are all Guardian readers so gullible?

  • Comment number 76.

    I did try the Times website for the free 30 day trial and have to say it was not actually very good. Even if it had been, I would never pay for this when I can get the same information free elsewhere. A bad business decision I think!

  • Comment number 77.

    If I want a newspaper to read, I shall buy a newspaper.

    If I am surfing the Internet and want to check the news, I'll visit a site that offers the news without charge.

    That said it is not uncommon for me to be surprised at the ventures that do achieve a level of success, despite looking doomed from the start. But I suspect the Times is really just looking to drop the expense of the website, and needs an excuse, such as low hit rate, to do so.

  • Comment number 78.

    Quite simpy nothing at all is what I would be prepared to pay for pages on the internet. I used to use the Times website but no longer do. There are English language news sites from around the world for free why pay? The Times content is no better than the China Daily etc.

  • Comment number 79.

    I would not pay, there are many many free reputable news sites available.

  • Comment number 80.

    Yes, I already do

    It's called the TV Licence Fee. It costs me about £12 a month, and for it I get to access the BBC website - it's not used for anything else.

    I wouldn't pay to access the Times website - not because I have anything against paying for content, but I've never accessed it while it was free, so why would I pay?

    As a general principle, I agree with charging for content (although £12 a month for the BBC website is a bit steep) because it costs money to produce the content, and it's not much cheaper to produce a website than it is to produce a printed paper.

    The simple fact is that it's far more cost effective for a newspaper to produce a website with 10,000 customers paying a £1 each, than it is to produce a website with 10,000,000 customers who each generate 0.0001p revenue from advertising.

  • Comment number 81.

    65. At 12:09pm on 02 Jul 2010, BradyFox wrote:

    The Times can do what it wants but I won't be paying for similar content that is freely available elsewhere.

    They are setting a bad example which will set the standard if enough people sign up to it. Should all the other publications follow this business model I would still refuse to pay.

    The internet increasingly being choked by restrictive business practice and marketing agencies, trying to make a buck out of every corner."

    Why should content be free? How is a news provider supposed to pay its staff if they get no income from their content?

    Creating, maintaining and operating a large dynamic website is by no means cheap.

    Personally, I think the Times is setting a GOOD example, and hope that other providers follow suit.

    Free content is just not sustainable in the long term. Unfortunately, in the past there have been too many people who have concentrated on getting market share rather than profit, and then have found that although they have a large market share they are losing millions a day and have no way of turning a profit from their customers, because their customers are too used to getting something for nothing. IMV, the sooner we get back to 'you get what you pay for' rather than 'something for nothing', the better.

  • Comment number 82.

    Absolutely not! What's more, on the few occasions that I actualy buy a newspaper, it will no longer be the Times!

  • Comment number 83.

    I stopped buying comics, sorry newspapers a long time ago, with the exception being my local rag.

    I stopped because of all the so-called celeb gossip, blatent lies/half truths and biased reports, so NO, I would not pay to access the Times website.

    I can't think of a reason why I'd ever pay to access news online while paying for the BBC licence fee.

  • Comment number 84.

    With all news free in the public domain, i dont think the times can justify charging for news.

  • Comment number 85.

    "As was proved in the election there is NO unbiased news reporting anymore all stories are slanted to what the reporter wants you to believe.."

    What did you expect? Newspapers and TV news programs are produced by people, and people have agendas. If they didn't, there wouldn't be much point in broadcasting it! Whats more, every member of the population ALSO has an agenda!

    So don't say "anymore" as if the past was some sort of utopia of non-biassed reporting. The same is true now as was true about 100 years ago - nobody will ever tell you anything unless its suits their agenda to have you believe it.

    And if you doubt that, you're not just deluded, you're stupid as well.

  • Comment number 86.

    I all ready pay for content on lots of different sites, but it has to be the right kind of content.

  • Comment number 87.

    Newspaper circulation is in terminal decline, as is the quality of reporting and the numbers of pukka journalists employed by them. News International has too much market share anyway, although calling 'The Sun' a newspaper is stretching the realms of credibility.

  • Comment number 88.

    No. Is it really so bad to let something go for free these days?

  • Comment number 89.

    No offense to anyone involved with the Times but I really hope this effort fails miserably. It's very counter progressive.

    Besides, the content produced by journalists is totally outweighed by the billion other people who are making content 'freely available' on the web. It's no way near as diverse, nor as first hand, and people now have direct access to real people rather than going through the 'media filter'.

    People can say what they really think on the web, whereas the media is muted, suggestive, indirect, selective and is heavily influenced by political and financial agendas.

  • Comment number 90.

    I will categorically not pay for online content whilst I'm having to pay for my broadband connection.

  • Comment number 91.

    • 34. At 11:11am on 02 Jul 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:
    I would never pay for news, especially from a company owned by News International.

    Absolutely. And we all know that The Times is just The Sun for posh people.

    And if you poshies want any other reason not to buy it, you’re contributing to my old dad’s pension - one of the pre-Wapping strong union printers. Thanks very much!

    The Saturday Guardian is ace by the way – Review, Family and Guide sections especially.

  • Comment number 92.

    paul in #80 wrote:
    Yes, I already do
    It's called the TV Licence Fee. It costs me about £12 a month, and for it I get to access the BBC website - it's not used for anything else.

    Actually I don't think you do. You don't have to pay anything to access the BBC site. You pay to legally own and use at least one television set. End of.
    Foreigners and people who don't have a television get to access the BBC news site without paying the BBC anything. Yes they do use licence money to run the site, however it is a free service for anyone in the world to use, even us, if we don't own a television. Thereby hangs a rub. Should our money be used to pay for foreigner's or expatriate's news, or those in the UK that don't have any sort of television set?

    I wouldn't pay to access the Times site either, though I used to use it occasionally if I read that there was something of interest on it.

  • Comment number 93.

    Most people I wold imagine don't read newspapers on the internet and unless you are going to lug a laptop around it isn't that accessible. If I want to read news headlines when I'm on a pc perhaps but usually I stick to the BBC on the basis that it isn't so biased, so the answer is a resounding NO.

  • Comment number 94.

    My personal [and probably biased] view is that..People buy the times to show that they are reading serious news,and that they are raised above the likes of those who read other more lowly papers. It declares the reader as a business person or professional.

    when you are using a computer you are just using a computer, you are reduced to the level of the mass, and therefore just gathering information in a manner that suits you, you declare nothing and no-one knows.

    Notepads and notebooks may change this and help you re-declare your superiority but for the moment I cant see a benefit in paying for 'branded' news.

    this model will need to change, news will remain free and it will be collected and arranged by online [social] programs to suit your own preferences, Whether the Times will become a roaring internet success I doubt it, but good luck to them for trying.

  • Comment number 95.

    I buy the newspaper 6 days a week and in my view, that should mean that I should get free access to the web version (maybe via a password that is printed in the paper for that day). But you have to subscribe, and I don't want to have a paper delivered which arrives after I've gone to work. So I'll stick to the BBC and the Guardian and various German newspaper websites in future.

  • Comment number 96.

    Why am I on pre-mod? I'm not new, I've been a member of the BBC website for years!

  • Comment number 97.

    Maybe for porno.

  • Comment number 98.

    I would think the days of payed for newspapers is somewhat limited. I get a free Metro in the mornings and a free Evening Standard in the evening. I can get any other news I want from the internet - free - at any time and it's more likely to be up to date than something that was printed six hours ago. Maybe the clue is in what The Times is doing, advertising revenue is dropping, yes because it's going in to the free news papers and on to the net, nobody wants to pay for a newspaper anymore, circulation is dropping and the advertisers know this.

  • Comment number 99.

    "80. At 12:31pm on 02 Jul 2010, Paul wrote:
    Yes, I already do

    It's called the TV Licence Fee. It costs me about £12 a month, and for it I get to access the BBC website - it's not used for anything else."

    If you don't use a TV why do you have a TV licence? Isn't that a bit stupid?

  • Comment number 100.

    If it's costing them that much to run the website, why run it?

    And what if charging for access to the website means that there will be fewer people using it - will that mean that they'll be constantly increasing the charge to cover their expenses as fewer and fewer users pay? Fewer users won't mean the website will be cheaper to run.

    I see a downward spiral developing.


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