Rupert Murdoch owned top-selling British tabloid 'The Sun' has done a U-turn on its policy by scrapping its paywall and offering most of its website content for free.
Rupert Murdoch owned top-selling British tabloid ‘The Sun’ has done a U-turn on its policy by scrapping its paywall and offering most of its website content for free.
News UK, Murdoch’s UK-based publishing house, announced plans to scrap the paywall and offer most of its website content for free.
News UK chief executive Rebekah Brooks informed staff yesterday of the new strategy, which will kick off from November 30.
“I recently shared with you the future priorities for the company and am excited today to tell you more about our plans for the first of these growing The Sun’s audience.
“This will mean setting the Sun predominantly free in the digital world from November 30. By happy coincidence, this is also Cyber Monday, one of the best-performing days of the year for online retail,” Brooks told staff.
News UK had made the decision to put the UK’s biggest- selling tabloid behind a paywall in August 2013, following a decision to move its other titles u2013 the Times and the Sunday Times u2013 on to a paid service.
Brooks described this as a “new chapter for The Sun”, which she had put behind the paywall before her high-profile exit from the publishing house amid the phone hacking scandal in 2011.
According to the ‘Guardian’ newspaper, which has kept its digital content free, the move represents a major challenge to the players vying to succeed with the free digital ad model and a vindication for those opposed to paywalls u2013 particularly given the challenges that have emerged for UK national newspapers.
The entry of ‘The Sun’ to the free digital ad market marks a major ramping-up of competition among national British newspapers in the battle for digital advertising pounds in a market dominated by US giants Google and Facebook.