4 May 2010

The Times, they are a' changing . . .

News International staff have been told to expect a 90% fall in traffic once the Times paywall is introduced in June this year.  No suprises there. 

The success metrics staff have been set include how successfully they have maximised advertising revenues, commercial revenues and subscription revenues, as well as the extent to which the paywall helps stem the fall in newspaper sales.   It was always going to be about money.   I wish them luck, it's a bold experiment.  

My gut feeling is that it won't work - the Times+ model costs a fortune and isn't all that compelling a reason to fork out for access to the Times websites.   As a consumer I want a high degree of relevance when I'm looking for content - I don't care about free tickets to Glyndebourne.   This is, as I've said before in this blog, about retention and cross-selling to maintain revenues within the Murdoch empire.    

Apple will shift its iTunes strategy by entering the cloud-based music streaming market, after it shuts down Lala, the music streaming service it acquired last year. It will face stiff competion from Spotify and We7. Spotify's recent upgrade allows users to import their music libraries into Spotify, putting the platform in direct competition with iTunes.

The digital downloads market in the USA and Japan is flatlining, with European markets set to follow a similar curve, the music industry desperate to find new ways of capturing audiences and revenues.

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