Thursday, 27 May 2010

The Times Paywall

I've been exploring the preview of The Times paywall. A few things have stood out for me.

1. The Times are attempting a 'news plus' model - it isn't trying to sell articles you can get elsewhere for free, it is attempting to sell bespoke digital content

2. It is an extension of the Times membership card scheme and therefore giving readers a feeling of inclusion, and belonging

3. Interactivity will be king. Blogs, discussions, comments are in

4. The use of embedded videos and multimedia galleries will be frequent but will carry a much more artistic feel

5. The Times will attempt to carry the following for their star writers behind the paywall, such as Mike Atherton in sport

Overall, I would be willing to extend my membership when the final  paywall comes down if I can be sure I'm getting fresh, thought provoking content that will allow me to join discussion and debate.

My next question is how this could provide opportunity or threat for PRs? The first points I would make is that it can allow for truly exclusive opportunities.

For example, my brother is an artist and if he could secure an exclusive preview for his shows with The Times then the power of that would be in reaching a niche audience of bespoke minds. For businesses, the editorial team will surely be looking for interviews and opportunities with CEOs that can remain within the paywall and I imagine there will be many businesses happy to discuss this with them.

In terms of marketing creativity, the paywall may also offer a full marketing solution for businesses as the Times will be able to offer data on readers which can in its own way prove as equally as attractive of some of the information sold by social networking sites such as Facebook.

So, interesting times ahead. I'll be looking to refresh my views when the new paywall is up and running properly.

No comments:

Post a Comment