Has The Times paywall been a disaster?

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It is very early days to be writing the paywall off, but according to a site called Newser http://www.newser.com/off-the-grid/post/502/whats-really-going-on-behind-murd… which has been reported on Wallblog http://www.wallblog.co.uk/2010/07/14/no-one-is-subscribing-to-the-times-paywa… The Times website is tumbleweed.

In a post on the Newser website Wolff writes “My sources say that not only is nobody subscribing to the website, but subscribers to the paper itself—who have free access to the site—are not going beyond the registration page. It’s an empty world.”

Of course someone was always going to write this story, but it does bring to mind two questions.

I is anyone commenting on The Times? If you have subscribed can you see if people are having a debate there. That would be a good gague as to how successful the move has been.

2 Has the Mandelson story done The Times any favours? In a glimpse of what might happen in the future The Times got a great exclusive with Mandelson’s book extract but I am guessing that it hasn’t won them any new subscribers. That was because the last time I looked 687 different news sources had been picking at the carcass of the story. Basically unless you want to read every word, you really don’t need to go behind The Times paywall.

Getting back to the paywall Wallblog says that NI execs are apparently encouraged by the numbers. Only time will tell, but I think this is one experiment that is doomed.

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2 thoughts on “Has The Times paywall been a disaster?

  1. Bill, wish I did. I subscribed for the day yesterday and it felt like a quiet place. Only one story – about Mandelson – had a serious debate with over 50 commenters. I got the feeling the rest of the website was die hard readers and media people

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