We take a risk, but the biggest risk would be to maintain the status quo. "While the Group of Australian-American Media News Corp. announced Friday that he would pay the consultation on the Internet of its two upscale Britain publications, the"Times"and the"Sunday Times", June, James Harding, editor in Chief of the"Times", admits a certain nervousness within the group. His journal is one of the first mainstream publications in the world to become almost entirely pay on the Web and many of its competitors believe that the initiative is doomed to failure, even if they secretly hope that it proves that Internet users are willing to pay for good journalism.
However, James Harding believes that the current economic model cannot finance an editorial worthy of the name. "There are about 500,000 real information online in the UK daily newspaper readership; "we would be pleased that a good portion of them are willing to pay," he says.
While rumors felt Rupert Murdoch, the owner of News Corp., hesitating on the issue, readers of the "Times" and the "Sunday Times" will well have to pay in less than three months: 1 book if they want to access the contents of one of the sites for a day or 2 pounds for the two sites for a week. "We opted for a simple and inexpensive rate explains the Chief Editor of the"Times"". The micropayment or progressive payment irritate readers.
For the price of a cup of coffee
To reset the counters, in may, the "Sunday Times" will launch its own site and the "Times" choreographs a new version of his own, the two titles to also be declined on mobile devices. "Will the subscribers have access to two sites seven days a week for the price of a cup of coffee", explained the Chief Editor of the "Sunday Times" in a message Friday to Internet users. Subscribers to the paper access sites free of charge. The other two publications UK, most popular, of News Corp. "the sun" and "news of the world", will soon pass also to the paying.
Even most of the blogs will pay "because they are the true content", Mark James Harding, the risk to the "Times" is out of the network of the Web economy, where every info returns to another and vice versa to generate traffic, which can then be invoiced advertisers. "This worries us, but look at how newspapers supply news to radio or TV: we will find a way to meet, even if it is not immediately", he added.
Connoisseurs of the sector believe that the passage to the paying reduced the traffic generated by a Web of 95. The number of monthly unique visitors to the "Times" online is currently 20 million, although, as with other British newspapers, a large part of them are out of United Kingdom, which makes it difficult to monetize traffic from the commercial point of view.
If the conversion to the pay of the "Times" is the most daring, is not the only one in the world. After the economic press - the "wall street Journal", owned by Murdoch, the "Financial Times" or even "Les Echos" are pay long-, Media General, discouraged cannot fix sufficiently remunerative rates for advertising on its pages views, seeks an alternative economic model. "new york times" has planned to restart its so-called "hybrid" strategy in the first quarter of 2011 As the "Financial Times", the American newspaper has opted for a "metered system": a reader will have the right to read a number of articles free of charge (25 for example), until it is requested to subscribe to the site. In France, "The world", which was partly paid, has just announced that no section of the paper version would be more free on the Web site, the editorial of the daily before in return provide 20 content online per day.