Paid content strategies: The Sun website starts £2 weekly paywall

01/08/2013

The Sun has launched its online paywall, charging users £2 per week, to access its website. However, the tabloid will grant registered users access to 20 articles a month, as newspapers continie to experiment with paid-content strategies online.

The site, now called Sun+, attracts a daily online audience of 1.7 million, compared to 2.3 million readers of its daily print newspaper.

The Sun+ will try to attract subscribers with offers such as video of all Premier League goals.

The move includes a deal to show Premier League goals online. Those who subscribe to Sun+ Goals will get "exclusive access to near-live video clips of every Barclays Premier League goal on the go - hours before the football round-up programmes have even started".

Online readers will get free access to 20 articles each month before they have to pay. UK papers The Times, Daily Telegraph and Financial Times already charge for online access.

Rupert Murdoch's News UK, which owns The Sun, announced the paywall in March, saying free online access had become "untenable", and continues his experiments with paid content strategies across his roster of media outlets.

The Times, also owned by News UK, introduced its paywall three years ago. It requires a paid subscription before any stories can be viewed.

When the Times and Sunday Times went behind a paywall in 2011, traffic to the site fell by 90%. It now has 273,975 online subscribers.

Because advertisers will not pay premium rates if numbers drop, it is predicted the Sun will need to make up the shortfall by getting as many as 340,000 subscribers.

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