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UK Times Struggles To Sell Premium Fare

Sure to trouble publishers far and wide, The (UK) Times has so far convinced just 0.5% of its readership to pay for premium content. As paidContent notes, "Many observers cite five percent as an industry benchmark for proportion of paying customers against free users in a freemium service environment." Worse still, only half of that those 105,000 paying readers actually subscribe -- as opposed to pay per day -- so a mere 0.25% of The Times' online audience have become regular customers.

But, don't expect The Times to reconsider its new four-month-old business model anytime soon. According to paidContent, the publisher "has made a grand, long-term strategic readjustment in its conception of the role of readers between its output and its income -- from 'visitors' to 'customers.'" One must also consider that, along with various new Web sites, The Times has recently launched new products -- namely, an iPad edition -- which are only just beginning to penetrate the broader market.



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