Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Is the Telegraph preparing to put up a paywall? The Daily Mail hopes so ...


So the rumour is the Telegraph is going to follow the example of Mr Murdoch and construct its very own paywall.

I've said this before and I'll say it again, it is the traditional print media falling back on traditional print tactics on a thoroughly modern medium.

So as soon as the wall goes up the audience will plummet faster than Nick Clegg's approval rating. But the big sell is, at least TMG will make money on those people who dig deep and stick around.

Size clearly doesn't matter to Mr Murdoch who sacrificed millions of casual readers (not literally ... I don't think) for the hard core loyalists. And if the rumours are anything to go by, the Telegraph is all set to follow suit.

But this isn't strictly speaking a paywall in as much as what the Guardian is calling a pay fence - you can still see through to the goodies inside. Part paid, part free is what is rumoured.

The metering technique will still give them some casual users, but the gate will slam shut if you want to delve deeper.

The big winner from this little exercise will be the Mail Online, which already ticks all the boxes in terms of getting the readers in. It has 54 million unique users for a reason - it is well designed, well SEO'd and well thought out - regardless of what you think of the content.

That's 54 million unique users and rising.

Now there's an audience worth capitalising on. If only a way can be found to do it ... without shutting them out.


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