Times OnLine Paywall

The Times stuck a paywall around their content yesterday 15th June. There will be huge interest in this paywall concept from a variety of sources: The News International Counting Dept (aka Finance). The bean counters and shareholders will be holding their breath the see what the up take will be and how the ‘markets’ react. They will have to make some sort of shareholders statement as to the uptake one would suggest as they opted out of the eABC last month and, therefore have no visible visitor numbers. The media, or the rest of the media to be accurate, is a collective ‘bitch’.

Because of that, some lofty quarters probably have a feature at the ready so that if the ‘collective wisdom’ of this harlot does come to pass and the wall has to be decommissioned, they can print and be dammed. ‘ How Murdock Failed’ would be the choice of headlines. There is nothing like straight in –  no kissing. However none of them, the hurlers on the ditch that is, will quote Llyod Jones:

the men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed

And spare a byte for the parasitic ‘scrapers’. The sites that rob and rehash well constructed and expensive articles to wallpaper their own sites for nothing. If they use (scrape) copy from behind the wall for their own sites, where will they stand legally. An aptly timed bit of research hit the screens from Harris/PCUK today. The latter acronym is “Paid Content UK”, a website owned and run by Guardian Media.

The results show that only 4% of inline current Times readers are Extremely Likely to pay for content and 2% are Very Likely. 4% for the survey opted for the semantic variable of Fairly Likely to pay for content.* Taking their current daily unique browsers standing at 1.2m one could extrapolate the following:

Daily Average 1,215,446 Uptake Number
Extremely Likely 4% 48,618 99% 48,132
Very Likely 2% 24,309 60% 14,585
Fairly Likely 4% 48,618 30% 14,585
Somewhat Likely 13% 158,008 5% 7,900
Not Likely 76% 923,739
85,203

Lets speculate for a moment as to how many of the different groups would be prepared to wedge up and vault the paywall. Trying to put a percentage uptake on the hair splittingly close adjectives of Extremely, Very and Fairly was particularly unscientific! Could News Int get 85,203 people signed up for their service and if so, paying £2 a week, would the projected £8.8m annually be enough to wash even a small part of a very big face.