About a month ago, The FirstFound Blog brought you news of The Times website relaunching as a paid-for subscriber service. We ended that article with a question:
Will you be willing to pay for online news? If you currently read The Times online, will you stump up or move on?
Now, it looks like we’ve got our answer.
Mixed figures are coming in on how badly the site is performing. The Guardian is reporting that 90% of The Times’ readership has deserted for free-to-read services, whilst the Financial Times is going with a slightly healthier decline of two thirds (stats taken from here).
Whichever number is closer to the truth, one thing is clear. People aren’t embracing paid-for news. And less readers means less advertising revenue. It could well be the case that charging for content could well lose money in the long run.
And that could spell the end of the great paywall experiment.