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30/03/2011

Murdoch’s Paywall: is it working?

A total of 79,000 people pay to subscribe to the Times and Sunday Times online, on an iPad or via a Kindle, a gain of 29,000 over the past five months, according to figures for the end of February released by News Corporation on Tuesday, says a report in The Guardian. The figures are up from 50,000 in November. Rebekah Brooks, News International chief exec, is talking the good talk over the figures, even though no other major English-language newspaper has announced plans to follow News Corp – with the Daily Mail, Guardian and Washington Post amongst those committed to remaining free.

‘News Corporation charges £2 a week for access to the Times and Sunday Times websites,’ says the report, ‘and its paywall is so strict that news stories from both publications do not appear on Google. Other News Corp titles, such as the Wall Street Journal, which also operate a paywall, do appear on the search engine’s rankings.’

It costs £9.99 a month for the iPad edition of the ST. One day’s access can also be bought for £1, and a pass for just the Sunday Times costs £1.79 via iTunes.

Wonder what the good citizens at The Irish Times and thejournal.ie make of it all.

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