The News International publications The Times and The Sunday Times have introduced a paywall for their content. From today, the two sites will charge users £1 to read stories for a 24-hour period, or £2 for a week's access.
The move comes after an announcement from the head of the organisation, Rupert Murdoch in 2009. The outspoken owner of News International said the move was in response to falling print revenue. At the time, the media mogul said:
"Quality journalism is not cheap. The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive distribution channels but it has not made content free. We intend to charge for all our news websites."
The move to a paywall has been met with scepticism from users, with many reluctant to part money for content which could be read for free elsewhere on the internet. Indeed, online research firm Hitwise reported the The Times suffered a 2.6 per cent drop in market share after introducing a subscription-only model.
"We have been very pleased with the response from readers since the launch of the new websites in May," commented the chief executive of News International Rebekah Brooks.
"The new sites showcase our award-winning journalism in a very visual way, giving readers exclusive content and interactivity so that they can get even more from the news. We believe the new sites offer real value and we look forward to continuing to invest and innovate for readers."