There is old adage in the world of media that where Rupert Murdoch leads, everyone follows. And that seems to be the case only days after the chairman of News Corporation, which owns The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun and the News of the World, announced that users of all of New Corp’s online newspapers and television news websites could expect to pay for access by the end of June next year.
As media commentators on both sides of the Atlantic debate the viability of a œpay wall, senior executives at the Guardian Newspaper are already considering launching a œmembers’ club for newspaper readers to boost income during one of the worst advertising downturns in history.
A survey sent out to registered members by the Guardian this week stated:
œThe Guardian is considering launching a members’ club which will provide extra benefits in return for an annual or monthly fee.
œThese benefits might include, for example, a welcome pack, exclusive content, live events, special offers from our partners and the opportunity to communicate with our journalists.
Faced with falling profits, which has allegedly forced the group to consider closing The Observer, the world’s oldest Sunday newspaper, the survey makes no bones about the logic behind the proposed members’ club.
It would, it said, be put in place to œsupport the Guardian financially.