The scrapping of the online subscription, introduced in 2013, marks the failure of the Sun to carve out a niche online, unlike its fierce rival the Daily Mail, which boasts one of the most popular websites in the world.
The paper’s implicit admission that people were not willing to pay online for its brand of journalism comes as the media industry is divided over whether paywalls or online advertising are the remedy to the sector’s struggles at a time of declining print revenue.
Newspapers that have made a success of online paywalls include the Financial Times, the New York Times and Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal and the Times of
In September it had 1.1 million unique browsers a day, according to ABC data, far behind the Daily Mail on 13.4 million and the Mirror Group titles on 3.9 million. Actual sales of the Sun newspaper fell by 34 per cent in Brooks’ absence.
Reality check: It’s hard to charge for information on the Internet for the same reasons as it is hard to charge for seawater in the ocean.
As I noted while teaching a recent workshop, the currency of the Internet is time, not information:
1. The internet reverses the values of time vs. information. People are busier now; we lack four hours to read a book whose critical points could be made in four paragraphs. And we may find those ideas quickly anyway, via a search. Thus, to gain regular readers, the blogger [or any medium] must post often enough, on-topic enough, to justify the ten minutes the reader can spend before duty calls. … More.
The papers that offer financial information can charge because it’s not just “information,” any more than a medical consult is just information. Besides which, for the people with serious bucks to invest, the money rag is a negligible writeoff.
But how much will we pay to find out how awful that starlet’s face job turned out?
No, I didn’t think so. That kind of thing is always free somewhere.
I still call that the legacy MSM will continue to look for a bailout from progressive government, in return for co-operation, and possibly suppression of competition. Not much else would help them.