Britain, An Experiment.

In the crumbling era of newspapers, News Corp recently started charging online readers for the Times of London. So their basic plan is to see if this will work or fail miserably in Britain before they try it in a larger market like the United States.

However, in the United States the prospects for online pay walls are not bright. Only 19 percent say they will pay for online news. According to the State of the News Media 2010 report, 82 percent of people would go elsewhere if their primary site went behind a pay wall.

Stories from The Times of London will no longer show up in Google News, Google’s news aggregation service.

But they will offer more content to people that pay for online access to the site like question-and-answer sessions with reporters. Great idea, but the New York Times has already done this with its Times Cast and

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mobile apps for free.

I like the idea of offering extra content to people who pay for online accerss, but the real question is will they pay? I believe that they will but not right now. If all the major news organizations put up a pay wall then people will be forced to pay and the anger of doing it will ware off over time.


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