Rupert Murdoch has said he’s happy with the “encouraging number of people subscribing at a good price” for the online editions of his Times and Sunday Times of London, which went behind a paywall two months ago.But online advertisers aren’t happy with him.
The Independent’s Ian Burrell reports (emphasis our own):
Faced with a collapse in traffic to thetimes.co.uk, some advertisers have simply abandoned the site. Rob Lynam, head of press trading at the media agency MEC, whose clients include Lloyds Banking Group, Orange, Morrisons and Chanel, says, “We are just not advertising on it. If there’s no traffic on there, there’s no point in advertising on there.” Lynam says he has been told by News International insiders that traffic to The Times site has fallen by 90 per cent since the introduction of charges. “That was the same forecast they were giving us prior to registration and the paywall going up, so whether it’s a reflection on reality or not, I don’t know.”
He warns that newspaper organisations have less muscle in internet advertising campaigns than they do in print. “Online, we have far more options than just newspaper websites – it’s not a huge loss to anyone really. If we are considering using some newspaper websites, The Times is just not in consideration.”
Even publicists don’t want to deal with the paper anymore, and its journalists are getting annoyed about losing scoops and readers:
Publicists have told me that clients are increasingly reluctant to give interviews or stories to The Times, on the grounds that they would not be made freely available via search engines. Dan Sabbagh, a former media editor at The Times who now runs the media website Beehive City, says News International journalists are frustrated by the decline in their audience.
How will Murdoch turn this thing around?
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