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Description: The News Corporation said on Tuesday that it had gained 105,000 paying customers for the digital versions of The Times and The Sunday Times of London since it started charging for access to their Web sites this summer.

Source: NYT.com

Date: Nov 2, 2010


The company said about half of those additions were regular, active subscribers to the newspapers’ Web sites, iPad application or AmazonKindle edition. The rest were occasional purchasers. Another 100,000 readers have activated free digital accounts that are included in print subscriptions to the papers, the News Corporation said.  The company’s initiative has been closely watched among media analysts and advertisers because The Times and Sunday Times are among the first prominent general-interest newspapers to start charging for their digital content. Other newspapers are also moving to introduce paid services as online advertising falls short of publishers’ hopes that it might someday replace dwindling print ad revenue. Click here for rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • Is a subscription revenue model for content viable on the internet?
  • Why has this revenue model not succeeded in a large way in the past?
  • As an investor, do you feel that the publishing industry has a bright future and would you would want to invest for the long haul?

4 Responses to “More Than 100,000 Pay for British News Site”

  1. Michelle Zeng

    I think there are few reasons for the increasing subscription of digital news.
    – Increasing use of portable devices which has internet access.
    More and more people have smart phones nowadays. In this news paper case, many of the subscribers are using ipad or amazonkindel edition.
    – Technology changed people’s reading habit
    More and more people get most the information through online content, and people feel more comfortable reading news on their handhold device or monitor.
    – It is likely cheaper to subscribe a digital copy of news paper than printed copy.
    I will invest on the publishing industry if i am an investor. The digital edition of the information significantly brought down the cost of running the publishing business. Therefore, we can expect the profit will be prospering.

  2. Celest-

    I do not really appreciate the idea of online subscription for news that is in print in the newspapers. I may be wrong, but the truth is, I do not even see a great future for it given the tough economic times. However, the reality is that times are changing and so to be in competition, businesses as well as people need to change with it. This being the digital era, businesses are trying every way possible to “catch” and keep their customers before anybody else sways them some other way. So it’s not a surprise the News Corporation has decided to do just that. Also, we should remember that these are the times when many businesses are going green to save the environment. How else would the newspapers go green?

  3. Kayla D

    I believe there is definitely a great future for the online world of subscriptions. I think that technology is only going to continue to grow from here on out. Everything is accessable from some type of personal device. I know some people who hardly even open up their laptops or touch their desktop computers because they have the ability to access everything from their smartphones. I agree with an above comment when it was stated that this is a great way for a business to go ‘green’. There is a large focus these days on being responsible in a variety of different ways, and it will also cut down costs for printing. I think that we will start seeing less and less paper based reading material. We’ve seen this on our own campus with textbooks being offered at a discount rate as an e-book.

  4. Matthew Kritzer

    In the past, it has been the mindset and belief of consumers that all information and news on the internet should be, and is free. However, with the advent of new technologies, people are more willing to subscribe to online websites (very similar to the newspaper or magazine subscription) in order to receive consistent and reliable information.

    In the past, this revenue model of having people subscribe to an online site has not done as well because a cheaper alternative was to subscribe to a physical newspaper or magazine, or find the information online for free. A great example of why this model may be applicable is the release of the tablet computing devices that may not always display regular webpages correctly, but when subscribing to on online site they ensure you will receive a great experience browsing by adapting their pages to display correctly. And on top of that, saving you the time and trouble to search for a reliable site.

    I believe the future is very bright for the publishing industry from an investors point of view. More and more people are starting to view all information and news online, rather than the traditional newspaper or magazine. Another benefit of online publishing is the more efficient use of resources. There are no trees and paper needed to produce these, making them more eco-friendly (which is becoming more and more popular).

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