It’s interesting to see the apparent diversion in views about online between between the UK’s two mighty newspaper groups. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation has hitched its fortunes to paywalls on The Times and the Sunday Times even though, so far, there’s precious little evidence that many readers are prepared to pay for this content.
Associated Newspapers, on the other hand, seems committed to the ‘free’ way, evidently calculating that if the (Daily) Mail Online site carries on picking up readers it will eventually become a big advertising property, maybe even a global one.
New figures today from the Audit Bureau of Circulations’ e-bit show that the Mail increased its online lead over the Guardian, with UK monthly total visitors in July of nearly 16m against the Guardian’s 13.7m. The Mail’s global number was 44m, a huge increase and closing fast on the 100m or so that pundits claim creates a viable global news brand.
Mail Online under editor Martin Clarke is way different to the Mail newspaper, with few of its middle class obsessions, even fewer of its middle class columnists and an unashamed reliance on gossip, celebs, nipple slips and sagging celebrity skin.
As for the Guardian, with 34m visitors globally it’s still a huge property but the management still seems utterly clueless about how to turn this into money.
Not a problem for the Mail one suspects.