Before November last year, both of News UK’s national newspapers’ websites had a paywall, blocking internet users access to online content.
Both sites would show the opening few lines of each news story, before blocking the rest off and asking a user to sign in or sign up to an account with a subscription fee.
Despite both being products of Murdoch’s News UK and having similar political agendas, The Sun and The Times contain very different types of journalism, with The Sun being unapologetically tabloid. The Times on the other side markets itself as not just a broadsheet paper, but as the best journalism you can find, describing themselves as “A premium British brand.”
Whilst The Sun have since taken down their paywall in order to compete with the likes of Mirror Online, The Times remain restricted by a pay-barrier.
An argument could be made for The Times following suit and removing their pay barrier. This would almost certainly lead to a sharp increase in dwindling online traffic figures, however would it be right for their carefully sculpted brand?
As mentioned, The Times wants to be seen as the home of the very best journalism money can buy, and operating a pay wall certainly at least reinforces that premium feel.