Murdoch's Paywall a Failure?Submitted by cybloo on Fri, 07/16/2010 - 13:18
It looks like Murdoch's paywall for the Times is not doing so hot. Although I cannot find specific details (just secondary sources from articles below), I think everyone here can assume that when a website contains content freely available from other news sites, the one that requires payment will falter. In any case, I think the silence from Murdoch & co is telling -- don't you think if they were wildly successful, they would have trumpeted it from the skies?
I thought this comment from "Gordon Rae" (from link 2) was very telling:
I'm in a unusual position, since I've been a paying subscriber to the paper edition for several years, so I get to go behind the paywall for free. It's clunky; it's taken customer services a few days to configure my access, so I know what it's like to be a non-user, and the main thing I wonder about is how they've designed thecustomer relationship. I know what happens if somebody sends me a link to a Times article, or I send it on to someone else. There's an immediate demand to spend a small sum of money, but I have to go through a cumbersome registration process. Or just sigh, and Google the topic.
It's any publisher's right (and duty) to do their own product design, but NI seem to be focusing exclusively on telling people to piss off if they haven't paid. It's the opposite of seductive, and it rubs people up the wrong way at exactly the point when they're expressing an interest in your stuff.