March 26th, 2010
01:42 PM GMT
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News International announced plans to charge for access to The Times and The Sunday Times Web sites starting in June.

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The publisher said both British newspapers will launch new Web sites in early May and offer a free trial period to registered customers.

Starting in June, each site will charge £1 ($1.48) for a day's access or £2 ($2.96) for a week's subscription, News International said.

The newspapers are currently available free on a combined site,, but they will have separate sites starting in May. Subscribers will have access to both sites, News International said.

The only other major British newspaper currently charging for online content is the Financial Times, which charges a basic rate of £3.29 ($4.90) a week for a year-long subscription. Users can view up to 10 online articles for free each month, but they must register.

We want to know what you think.

Would you pay to read your news on the web?

Filed under: BusinessQuest Means Business

soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. NancY Morales

    NO would not pay to see news on internet.

    March 26, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
  2. nchy

    I rarely visit newspaper sites. I get CNN both online and on television, Yahoo! news, and loads of other websites on the internet.

    The only thing that will make me pay is if every other source is asking me to. And that's not likely to happen today.

    March 26, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  3. Daniel Bui

    That's ridiculous! Someone wants to read the news online to save money now they have to pay! We all "Times" online want to charge reader??- The Times, The NY Times and at the moment is Financial Time!Dont know when the Telegraph charge us!

    March 26, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
  4. Daniel Bui

    By the way I dont want to PAY for the new on the web! Such a waste of money!

    March 26, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  5. Derlei dos Santos

    The information is FREE !!!!!

    Nobody wants to pay a charge to read it !!

    Rio de Janeiro

    March 26, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
  6. Ryan Healey

    Information is NOT free. Newspaper who report local news pay millions in reporter's salaries and expenses to investigate and report stores. why on earth should newspapers give their product away for free online? Newspapers foolishly put their product/news online for free and readers simply canceled their print subscriptions to save a buck. Now, if you want your news, you need to pay for it like consumers did for decades. This change is long overdue.

    March 26, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
  7. lauratheexpat

    Right now – no, because there are too many sites that offer content for free. In the future – it depends. Maybe if it were information that I could get nowhere else, which, given the proliferation of information sources, is a pretty tall order.

    Under no circumstances would I pay to get a reprint of information from a wire service or a rehash based on information from a wire service. For me to plunk down my cash, there has to be some value added...

    March 26, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  8. Theresa

    Not if its being faked and/or manipulated.

    I've been reading/watching alot of 'news' that is coming from and/or involving very questionable sources.

    March 26, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  9. Robert

    I stopped buying newspapers because I can get enough info online (I'd prefer to have all the stories in the newspaper but, except on occasion, it's not worth it). As with the above, I will stop reading The Times excellent site as long as there are other reasonably good sources of info.

    Most price-sensitive people will do the same. The question is how big is the non price-sensitive portion of the market. Answer not that big. So what will happen, in a few years time more and more online news will start charging and it will soon become evident that it is an unprofitable offering (as there will be insufficient subscribers for everyone).

    Online news will consolidate to a handful of big players, and these will then bundle with internet packages as part of the subscription. We will look back on the Nineties and Noughties as the Golden Age of internet when everything was free.

    March 26, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
  10. Flavio Sacramento

    Why I should pay for information if exist websites like: Yahoo News, MSN News, Google News, AOL News and others?

    Sao Paulo

    March 26, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
  11. Font

    The only reason I get my news from the web it's because it's free.

    March 26, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  12. Ruth Hirt

    It is indeed clear, efforts have to be remunerated however in this sense it is redundant, competition is at its peak, unswervingly, and with that measure, the particular news-servers potentially drain themselves off of online readership. A daring attempt though by them.

    March 26, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  13. Gregory K

    It looks like that Publishers in Uk face a very difficult time.
    It was expected somehow since the launch of internet and the free titles.
    Circulation is reduced year by year .
    Launching an online edition looks like a desperate move to cover some costs.

    The question is not if someone pays for a subscription or not
    because simply
    Web sites make money mostly by selling banners on their web pages rather than the subscriptions.

    The question is if we are near the end of the newspaper as a media and if the new king(internet) is ready to take over as a reliable information mechanism ?

    March 26, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  14. TPartier

    I very much appreciate the quandary news organizations are facing AND am keenly aware that independent news sources (though anything Murdoch touches hardly qualifies) are essential to the success of any democracy.

    That said... I remain amazed at how much local papers were able to charge for printed ads all those years with a known limited effectiveness.

    I'm equally amazed that news sites have not been able to negotiate appropriately large fees for their advertising. Also – they should spend more time on managing the quality of the ads and deny access to those who deploy ad blockers – provided they are making good efforts to keep poorly contrived ads from screwing their sites up.

    March 26, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  15. otropogo

    I certainly wouldn't pay for the online news delivery I've experienced anywhere to date. The service would have to be light years better in terms of customization, it would have to be a bundled service, supplying news reports from a wide selection of sources in a choice of all of the majore languages, combined with on-demand RELIABLE TRANSLATION, and include the right to save print copies including graphics (but stripped of ads,etc.).

    Murdoch is dreaming in technicolour if he really believes any significant number of users will pay 3 pounds a week to read his rags online.

    March 26, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  16. oldtimer

    Absolutely not. What news there is, is so slanted and watered down, that it is really not news, just one person's opinion. And just look at who really are the owners of these news sites. There has not been any real news journalists for many a year now. They all kiss the ass of the owners and print only what they are told. Sad but true.

    March 26, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  17. AZ

    Newspapers have tried it before and wasted time and even more money trying to collect additional funds from the masses. NO, I would not pay a Dime to these bastards!

    You might be lucky if you sell columns of some decent writers and politicians, not the regular news. Because the news they are about to hide under "login" and "password" will be easily available elsewhere... while they are trying to put a wrapper on it.

    March 26, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
  18. George Sakoulas

    The internet is the information highway after all. If print wants to enter the online plateau of information exchange... 'giving the news' if you will. If they want to be competitive they should look at alternative revenue sources... charging online might secure their core readers but will leave no room for growth. To remain competitive online they have to start thinking global and digital!

    March 26, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  19. mr booner

    the times and the sunday times have been producing poor content for years now. Charging for content will mean that they will become even less relevant than they already are.

    Paying for content will become a reality inn the next decade, but not for the times. which will cease to be an ongoing concern in the near future.

    March 26, 2010 at 8:03 pm |
  20. Patricia-Mobridge, SD

    I own a Kindle and subscribe to the New York Times & The Times in London. Plus I read the CNN & CNN International websites daily. If it means I get actual news not merely opinions. If you pay for cable, then you are already paying to see the news, if you think about it.

    March 26, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  21. ana petrov

    Of course, NO. Fortunately, a your´s web site is FREE for now!

    March 26, 2010 at 8:47 pm |
  22. Chris

    They're nuts.
    News has always been FREE since the dawn of man (well~~ at least since the dawn of ME). The money I paid to newspaper company is actually to cover for PRINTING costs... advertisements pay the rest for us, and for the very same reason I can watch the news on TV FOR FREE. Yes I'm using an antenna instead of those blood-sucking cable companies.
    Here in my country, even the biggest national newspapers and magazines are actually providing e-newspaper FOR FREE (free registration required). And it's 100% same with the printed version.
    If I should pay for news access on the Internet, I think I'd go back to watching news on TV. Even if EVERY news source on the Internet is asking me to pay for subscription, there will be people who subscribe to it and then copy-paste it to the forum anyways, so it will be unlikely to happen in the near future. Not to mention citizen journalism is gaining popularity...

    March 26, 2010 at 9:17 pm |
  23. Jane

    I used to pay for an on-line subscription to WSJ about 8 years ago–but it sounds crazy today!

    March 26, 2010 at 9:29 pm |
  24. Jane

    Even if all things were equal–speed, accuracy, cost–I would still get my news online because I can't stand the thought of all that daily paper being hauled using precious fossil fuel to a big reaking landfill and my iPhone is smaller and more portable!

    March 26, 2010 at 9:37 pm |
  25. Clark Kent

    I reluctantly consent to advertising on my news accepting that they need to pay reporters and probably a bunch of other people not to mention, make a dime for the stockholders. The reason I am unwilling to pay for news online is because I am not willing to limit myself to a single or a few sources for news. To do so would open me up to the type of manipulation I have seen done to viewers of Fox News. That is unacceptable.

    March 27, 2010 at 12:09 am |
  26. Theed

    Definitey not. This is a total try-on and is also a bad precedent. Dangerous as it precludes free access to information and discriminates against those who economically cannot afford it. Unacceptable social development. Rotten idea! Shows the greedly colours of Murdoch.

    March 27, 2010 at 2:17 am |
  27. JudyB

    No, I will not pay for the news on the internet. News is what is happening free in the world and should be reported as such. And yes, I think the news people do change it some what to suit the story or to make a story more exciting. Absolutely not would I pay for it. I am questioning whether to keep paying the price for the internet itself.

    March 27, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  28. Michael Cawood

    I pay to have Internet access but that is as far as it goes. The newspaper websites get revenue from advertising so they want their cake and eat it presumably by advertising and charging for access. It is interesting to note that newspaper websites in other countries don't charge, so this is yet another example of rip-off Britain.

    March 28, 2010 at 12:08 am |
  29. Michael Cawood

    Why can't Gordon Brown pay out of the huge amount of taxes he rips off us?

    March 28, 2010 at 12:11 am |
  30. Harry Collier

    I might pay to read researched, factual, evaluated news. But not the kind of "news" concocted by News International which consists mainly of slanted campaigning and opinionated columnists, with "stories" selected to boost some odd editorial policy.

    March 30, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
  31. Joseph Neurauter

    Sounds to me like they are trying to apply an old model to a new paradigm. History tells us it will not work.

    Obviously they need to monetize the service they are providing (as does But rather than looking at it from their own perspective, they should bring in outsiders to discuss how to approach this issue from an end-user's perspective.

    Until and unless the people in the big chairs behind the big desks start taking their cues from the people who have actually had some success in monetizing the internet, they will fail.

    March 31, 2010 at 12:29 am |
  32. jon

    there aint a snowball's chance in hell i would pay $20 a month to get the news. I'd rather not know tyvm. But since it's free on most other sites why should that change? Now if there were some cool content.....some added value.....but just the plain ole news.....NO f'n way!

    March 31, 2010 at 7:37 am |
  33. Adriana

    Dear Times,
    I'm the audience! Have you met me? You want me to be exposed to your information, that is the foundation of your business. There are millions of people currently trying to find better ways to place information in front of me and you alone trying to find a better way to keep me away from your information. Look up the word Audience! hint: audience is a good thing for you to have...

    March 31, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  34. babak

    I would pay for it, if the quality is good. Lately the news is more like a reality show. Just report the facts and let us decide what it means, please. Good reporting costs money. To keep good reporters emplyed cost money and some how they need to charge for it. How they plan to compete with free the sites, that is a whole different issue. I am certain they have it already worked out!

    March 31, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
  35. Mike_A

    Scribes vs the printing press; Oil and gas lamps vs the light bulb. Glass shampoo bottles vs plastic. And the cliche' example of buggy whip makers vs the "horseless carriage".

    When your mission statement no longer applies to public demand... it's time for a new direction.

    Now, where *is* that typewriter I used to have?

    Gulfport, MS, USA

    March 31, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
  36. Juan Bonilla

    The advertisement embeded in the news websites have paid for these news so far. Why do the economic model needs to change at this point? More Profits!!!!!!!!
    I love capitalism.
    The goverment should subsidize buying stocks in these companies that will charge for the web news. That is the democratic way to share wealth!!! Ha,Ha, Ha.

    April 1, 2010 at 12:11 am |
  37. ronnie weller

    News papers will not go broke unless they are led by the likes of men like Rupert Murdoch who is a right wind extremist who promotes hate and war. There is still a need for those of us to buy the newspaper. I buy one everyday and still find the news on line to be much better. No way i or anyone else I know would pay for the news. NO WAY!!! GOT IT??

    April 1, 2010 at 8:29 am |
  38. frank c

    NO i be better off not knowing anything.

    April 2, 2010 at 4:59 am |
  39. Anil

    No way. News should be free.

    April 2, 2010 at 8:13 am |
  40. Jessie from Auckland, NZ

    We pay for the internet as it is. This would just pile more costs on to us consumers. Is it greed I see rearing its ugly head again?

    April 2, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  41. Shade

    I do not pay for news on a TV or radio. Why must I pay for news on internet?
    Publishers must get their revenue from advertisers or shared services from other businesses.

    April 2, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  42. Common Sense

    I already pay to read the news online. Internet access isn't free you know...

    April 2, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
  43. Common Sense

    Let them make money from ads, not readers...

    April 2, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
  44. Ronald Black

    I have no paper anymore because I don't want to pay for sports news, fashion news, car news and all the other crap. As for international news, I read that yesterday online or the day before.

    As for local news, the reporters get called by local people who witnessed the accident or whatever, so those witnesses can report that stuff themselves, no sweat. Such sites can be financed by ads, no problem.

    April 2, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  45. Abhinandan Reddy

    The concept of online news portals getting revenues when people click on them is working fine now. There is no need to increase their revenues by charging more money from the viewers.

    April 2, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
  46. Mike Schmalfuss - Cincinnati

    Personally I think the only way for most of them to pull it off is to combine access. By that I mean a small monthly or annual subscribtion gives acess to a number of sites. Most people jump all over the place to read articles and aren't going to pay for all of them. For example, my $5/month may allow me access to the pay portion of the online editions of papers in all the major markets, plus local. Revenue split evenly or with a slight tilt towards the local sites. One login/cookie works across all them instead of prompts at each.

    April 2, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  47. Mike Schmalfuss - Cincinnati

    Another thing that will be required before asking for money is much more original and localized content. AP and Reuters, etc. are everywhere. I don't expect to pay different online entities for the exact same content. Might as well go to the source....

    April 2, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  48. Tracey Kelly

    Like many people, I do not support paying for online news content. Like free TV, the advertising industry pays for the content to be delivered to the audience. Most sites are riddled with advertisements that are hard to ignore.

    Initially, it will be a failure to expect people to pay. Over time, if the charge is very low, say 20 pounds per year, people may join up to the premium sites.

    April 2, 2010 at 8:10 pm |
  49. Pat

    They are crazy, not in a million years would i pay for online news!

    April 4, 2010 at 3:42 am |
  50. ilir Kapaj

    These people who sell newspapers want to be more and more rich. I read news online when I want to rest a bit after a long office work.
    If they forced us to pay for news, then instead of reading news, I will go out of my office and have a walk in the botanik garden near my office.
    I will not pay for online news!!

    April 4, 2010 at 10:23 am |
  51. ScrnName

    Over the past 2 days, there have been nearly a dozen separate iPad-related "news" stories on alone, and virtually no "news" – as if the content we're being fed isn't already ad-supported & slanted? I'd sooner purchase a subscription to a reputable wire service, even at higher personal cost, than pay for what I typically find on most so-called "news" websites. At least I feel I can trust AP/Reuters to check their facts & not print mindless garbage.

    April 4, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  52. Anthony Smith-Chaigneau

    Not until there is no othwr option

    April 5, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
  53. declined1001

    There are many reasons why paying for "news" is a farce, but here some that the "grubby corporate newsmongers" might think about.
    1) we already PAY for access – so it appears what you want is your piece of the pie. Find get from the providers.
    2) the quality of journalism is pathetic. full of errors, in facts, representations and even trivial grammar. It appears that all it takes to be a reported today is a spell check program.
    3) too much politicization has occurred instead of objective reporting.

    I could go on, but that is enough to explain my perspective.

    April 5, 2010 at 11:23 pm |
  54. daniel

    I might, but only if its free of adverts.

    What offends me most is the actual lack of news and sex sex sex. I dont care if Madonna takes a bath or how stars are tramps. How about good rewarding stories other than doom and gloom?

    I know of a lot of websites that make money and they are free.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:26 am |
  55. frank c


    April 6, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
  56. frank c


    April 6, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
  57. Orville Boutilier

    What nonsense. I think it's time that the "free press" realize that people have options when it comes to news and paying for it doesn't have to be one of them. If readers are not patronizing their sponsors then there must be a reason for that; charging for content instead of ad space is a failure in management, marketing and sales; not in the interest level of the readership. Get your act together.

    April 6, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  58. Bill

    Yet another rip-off...

    Just like the internet is free too, you just have to pay someone for access to it...BAH!!!

    April 6, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  59. Mario

    I've just answered NO to the poll, impulsively. Next, I looked at what I read regularly: three online, two of which I pay dearly for (and have been doing so for years now).

    So much for the poll?

    April 6, 2010 at 9:36 pm |
  60. Leonard

    The so called news that we see on the Internet isn't even news. I am amazed that news networks are still operational. Most of the news that we get is either made up, twisted or designed to drive a popular consensus. Why on earth would we want to pay for THAT? Come on, get with the program. Stupid question. I have a question. Would you pay to have your car doors kicked in? Do I really need to ask that question? Do you really need to ask if people would pay to be lied to on a daily basis?

    April 7, 2010 at 3:34 am |
  61. Mark

    Free is the only way I'll visit a news website because of the inevitable advertising and annoying pop-ups

    April 7, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  62. paulomugarura

    it would depend on the content and interactivity of the website because we are pretty used to having free stuff on the internet! There would have to be a serious incentive to do it or else it would not be worth it.

    April 7, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  63. loreine

    honestly, if news delivered are reflecting reality and not some wanna be reporter, then fine, it is worth paying. but usually it is not. which forces one to ask why would i pay for nonsense?

    April 7, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
  64. caro

    i wana watch the news 4 free

    May 17, 2010 at 12:29 am |
  65. Louis Vuitton Handbags

    Hey very nice blog!!

    May 28, 2010 at 12:33 am |
  66. Aion Kinah

    Good! Thank you! I always wanted to write in my site something like that. Can I take part of your post to my blog?

    June 2, 2010 at 12:11 am |
  67. Beautiful Girls :

    Cable companies are already offering bundled internet and cable tv services at a cheap price "

    October 31, 2010 at 3:50 pm |

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Quest Means Business airs Monday to Friday, 1600 New York and 2100 London, and is hosted by Richard Quest.



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