Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Times Newspaper sets out the future in its paywall

On BBC Radio 4 this morning, the Today programme, an interview with the Times newspaper's James Harding  defending its paywall strategy.

So it might, for a google of Times Newspaper and paywall reveals a spate of negative press and comments. It won't work, it's pointless, the cost damages the Times' growth are the vein of the criticisms.

But this interview, which is worth  listening with Editor  revealed some interesting figures.

It also aired a logic that argues the conversation has yet to break out of collateral damage blame.  It's to early to call this action said Harding, which I agree.

A look at trends and decision which go against the status quo tend to reveal widespread antiviews.

Here, Harding says he is encouraged by its figure of 100,000 readers, which Steve Hewlitt, a media expert agreed had merit. Depends how you look at added Hewlitt

The Net's echo chamber ensured that while their copy was behind a paywall, they were still being talked about.   The 100,000 figure appears to pan out at 20m UKP in advertising, compared with the Guardian's 40m UKP for its open access.

However, just as the FT has claimed, and reiterated by the Times, the IPad and Kindle is revolutionising the printed word.

We created a grave error admitted Harding when we gave our copy away for free. Will others follow behind the paywall asked the BBC presenter, Evan Davies.

Hewlitt was unsure, but the IPad/ Kindle offered an intriging future. I wrote earlier in a post. This is a waiting game of deeper pockets versus the possibility of a turn around in the logic journalism is free.

That does not undo my firm acknowledgement of the Net's free and open access approach, but that a new type of journalism in apps and need-to-know info may redeem the printed word's perceptive premium: some things cost.