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Online Newspapers Require Free Web Accounts ~ Then Traffic Plunges

June 27, 2010

During the economic crisis, the online advertising market took a corresponding dive,

a trend that has left sites considering ways to get users to pay directly for content.

Traditional print outlets are at the forefront of this trend, led by major sites like The New York Times


and various properties in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. empire.


In the UK, The Times is rolling out its paywall and now demands that anyone intent on reading its content register an account.

According to research done by the traffic metrics firm Hitwise, simply demanding registration has already cut into traffic at The Times.


Right now, The Times isn’t charging for content,

although it plans on doing so in the near future.

As of mid-June, however, the site started requiring that anyone who wished to view an actual article register an account.

Ultimately, these accounts will be used to try to extract payment for viewing an article’s content.

But, according to Hitwise’s numbers,

simply adding the registration barrier has cut traffic to the site almost in half.

[ oh my god that’s just fucking brilliant ]

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