According to CNET: News International, the British division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., announced on Friday that two of its newspapers, The Times and The Sunday Times of London, will charge readers for using its sites come June.
The two papers have been offering their content in a combined news Website called Times Online. Under the new plan, News International would introduce separate sites for each publication in May.
The sites will reportedly charge one pound for a day’s access, two pounds for a week’s subscription. Those fees will cover access to both sites, which will be available for free during a trial period.
Doubtless, if this gambit succeeds, the entire media industry will heave deep sighs of ulcer soothing relief. The interesting question here of course is: Will readership of free website content head north as a result of mainstream media charging? If so, will these free theoretically higher audienced sites then be able to ask more for advertising? If visitor pony up, will everyone with any worthwhile content start protecting their investments…start charging…and will we then be left only with a load of product-placed, subtly and not subtly sponsored bullshit to sift through in hopes of finding useful, valid, ‘accurate’ free information?
I can already hear the ‘you get what you pay for’ innuendo vibrating from the lips of traditionally ‘trusted’ media outlets who’ve decided to charge for their ‘superior quality’ information…
Wikipedia, the Gutenberg Project, Archives.org, and other decent free information sources we currently benefit from…how long before they’re menaced by a big media sponsored barrage of heightened credibility questioning…
How long before Youtube (Google) starts charging for channels.