Perhaps it is good news for content writing services that another major newspaper has taken its content behind a paywall. The Sun and The Sun on Sunday (formerly known as the News of the World) have started charging for the privilege of reading Britain’s highest selling newspaper online.
Rupert Murdoch has certainly had a busy week. Today he was accused of interfering in an election in Australia to protect News International’s commercial interests, and he is certainly doing the same by stopping Britain from reading its most read newspaper. The Sun in Ireland has also relented to pressure to drop nude models from page 3 of the paper, in the midst of continuing pressure in the UK for the UK version of the paper to drop page 3 altogether.
Murdoch has certainly had a busy week focusing on his papers in various different territories. At least his television and movie network ‘21st Century Fox’ reported increased revenues this week in the USA.
The Advertising Model
Murdoch has never believed in the free to read and paid for by advertising model that funds the majority of content written by all forms of content writing services on the internet. Why, he reasons, would a person pay 60p for the Sun on Sunday, when they can read all the content online for free?
The Sun’s circulation has dropped to 2.24 million from 3.12 million four years ago. The ability to read online may be one factor, but many may point to the phone hacking scandal that led to the closure of its sister paper ‘The News of the World’ two years ago.
Murdoch’s other papers, The Times and the Sunday Times have been behind a paywall for years. While their website traffic has fallen, their revenues have supposedly increased, though this hasn’t stopped the parent company of the papers from recording a £28.7 million loss in 2012.
Source of Online News
While the Sun is still Britain’s most read newspaper, online it is in the shadow of the Mail Online which was named the World’s Most Read News site in 2012. It was receiving 5.3 million unique visitors per day in 2012, now it receives 129 million per month in 2013. The Sun will attempt to lure subscribers with near live Premier League highlights, however the Mail Online has proved itself to be the world leader in celebrity gossip on both sides of the Atlantic.
Will Readers Go Elsewhere?
The Sun has managed to hold onto a fair number of its subscribers since the days before free news on the internet. However with so many other established sources of news online, there is plenty of sources for readers to find out what is going on in the world without having to pay the monthly £2 subscription fee to the Sun.
Will the Subscription Succeed?
There is little doubt that the Sun’s daily traffic will fall. Advertisers are already pulling out or adjusting their rates. The Sun’s editorial influence will be diminished. However what matters is the bottom line. Since profit has reportedly increased by placing The Times behind a pay wall, it is no surprise that the Sun has followed suit. The Sun may become less of an influence for the UK web users, which is good news for content writing services of other websites due to the diminished competition, but as long as they continue to rake in revenue it is unlikely Murdoch will care much.