Times Online edges closer to paywall

The Times and Sunday Times subscribers and Times Online registered users will this week be invited to register for premium content.

News International CEO Rebekah Brooks has emailed staff, in a memo entitled Fair Pricing For Digital Content, to make them aware that News International is edging closer to its “new digital proposition”, which will include a paywall around content.

In the email, Brooks said the publishing industry is making a mistake by chasing millions of unique users and giving away content free.

“Great journalism needs investment and we are committed to supporting the fantastic work that you are all producing and delivering to our audiences. It is the quality of the journalism that you create, and the ways in which we produce and distribute it, that will continue to set our titles apart from the competition,” the email read.

Brooks said she expects the number of unique users to fall dramatically as a result of the paywall.

“But the people who register to our new digital products will be customers who have made a positive decision to pay a fair price for journalism that they value and they will be those who are more committed to and engaged with our titles,” she added.

The email does not mention other News International titles such as The Sun or The News of the World.

In November new media age reported that the Times Online paywall would be part of a major revamp of the site, set for April (nma 12 November 2009).

The redesign is being led by The Times’ head of digital development Hector Arthur and assistant editor of online Tom Whitwell.

This story first appeared on newmediaage.co.uk

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