Newspapers offer more free content online
LONDON - UK newspapers are offering more free content online as advertising revenue rises, according to new research into newspaper website business models.
A study by City University shows that newspapers give free access to content to generate traffic. Although advertising accounts for around 90% of online revenue, income from online services and commercial partnerships is growing.
The Guardian is seeing between 20% to 30% annual growth in this sector, while online services and partnerships make up a third of the Telegraph's website profits.
The survey also found that UK online newspapers such as the FT.com and Independent.co.uk are also moving away from charging for news columnists and stories towards free content.
The Times is also providing free access to its archive content in a bid to make it more visible to search engines.
Neil Thurman, senior lecturer at the University's Department of Journalism and Publishing, and Jack Herbert, digital publishing manager of Cambridge Publishers, interviewed the editors or managers of all the UK national newspaper websites as well as Scotsman.com and the Evening Standard's site, ThisisLondon.co.uk. The result is a detailed look at the business models of British newspapers' online operations.
Meanwhile, the Guardian, the Daily Mirror, the Daily Mail and the Daily Express are no longer concerned about cannibalising content for the internet. Editors saw online and offline as complementary products, with the website as an opportunity to drive print sales.
The research, titled 'Paid content strategies for news website: An empirical study of British newspapers' online business models', was published in the journal Journalism Practice.
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