I'm not surprised by the data that says the readers on The Times website have dropped since the paywall ('The Times sees decline in web traffic following launch of paywall last month', prweek.com/uk, 20 July). It's an uphill battle restricting access to content that people have come to take for granted as free. One of the questions in my mind is whether The Times really has a clear enough competitive differential to prevent people from easily migrating to The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian or BBC for their news?
... or it should stop charging for content
I'm not surprised it hasn't been successful - charging for a non-specialist news site was never going to be popular. If The Times wishes to win back readers it shouldn't be charging at all. Other papers such as The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and even The Sun should increase their advertising rates in order to provide free online content. By putting up a paywall, publications that do not offer specialist financial, economic or political information will lose readership, as we have seen with Murdoch's experiment.
Quality is important but free news is everywhere
I buy The Times each day, not just for its excellent news coverage and (compared to some) moderate politics but, above all, the quality of its commentators and columnists. But I prefer that as a hard copy experience, savoured while sat quietly with a coffee. Online? Different experience. When push comes to shove, the news I can get anywhere for free.