Murdoch erects great paywall of Britain
Making good on comments made in 2009, Rupert Murdoch will block 20 million online readers from one of his most popular online news websites.
Users will have to pay to view The Times or The Sunday from June after paying £1 (AUD$1.60) or £2 per week, however those who subscribe to the print edition will have access to the paper’s online content.
The newspapers’ current website, Times Online, had 20.4 million unique visitors in February and has been estimated to have collected £15 million to £18 million a year from online advertising, which analysts believe will disappear if users are forced to pay to enter the site.
Murdoch has previously blamed search engines such as Google for stealing his publications’ content by allowing users to find and access stories through their databases.
“The move is a crucial step toward making the business of news an economically exciting proposition,” said Rebekah Brooks, a former editor of The Sun and chief executive of News International, the British subsidiary of Murdochs News Corp.
The media conglomerate also indicated that The Sun and The News of the World would introduce charging for online access.