Johnston Press to charge for local papers online
Thursday 26 November 2009
Johnston Press, the regional newspaper group, is to begin charging for the online content of some of its local titles, in the latest sign that the industry has shifted heavily in favour of making the internet pay.
It emerged yesterday that Johnston Press is introducing "paywalls" on some of the group's websites from Monday; it will be the first UK regional publisher to experiment with the scheme. Online readers of six titles including the Northumberland Gazette and the Worksop Guardian will pay £5 for a three-month subscription .
The group, run by John Fry, will judge whether the experiment has been a success before it rolls out the scheme across all of its newspapers. An internal memo seen by the website Hold The Front Page, said: "Customers are used to paying for content in paper and we are simply transferring this thinking online."
Johnston Press, which also owns The Scotsman and the Yorkshire Post, said this month that while the slump was easing, advertising revenues in August and September were still down 19 per cent over the previous year.
Newspapers have been searching for alternative ways to boost revenues after suffering a huge collapse in advertising during the downturn. The industry is increasingly looking at charging for its online content as a way to boost earnings.
Earlier this year. the media agency GroupM predicted that advertising revenue at regional newspapers would fall 31.9 per cent this year, a much sharper drop than at the nationals, where it is expected to fall 18.6 per cent. Richard Lambert, the director-general of the CBI, has recently complained that regional titles "are being hammered into the ground" because they can't capitalise on their internet activities.
Kevin Ward, the editor of the Worcester News, believes charging is a viable model for local papers as they provide niche information, such as reporting on local court and council meetings. He said Johnston Press's decision was welcome news, adding: "It's the right way forward."
News Corporation is determined to introduce charges at its titles, including The Times and The Sun, by next spring. James Murdoch, News Corp's chief executive in Europe and Asia, said charging for content would be a "huge shift" for the industry, adding: "I think it's the crucial step in starting to develop a wholesale market in digital journalism".
- 1 Rice Bucket Challenge: India's take on the Ice Bucket Challenge 'for Indian needs'
- 2 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 Rubble Bucket Challenge: Ice Bucket Challenge adapted in solidarity with Gazans whose homes have been destroyed in conflict
- 5 Car tax disc changes: Make sure you know the new rules from 1 October or risk £1,000 fine
Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
The 13 obscure UK laws you didn’t know you were breaking
13 laws you didn't know you were breaking
Car tax disc changes: Make sure you know the new rules from 1 October or risk £1,000 fine
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
Jeremy Clarkson is a cultural tumour and needs to be removed, says comedian Frankie Boyle
Air strikes? Talk of God? Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script after James Foley beheading
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£23000 - £26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Account Executive / Client Services ...
£36000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Executive PA to CEO & Executive Dire...
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Administrator - Tunbri...
£45000 - £75000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Senior C...