“My sources say that not only is nobody subscribing to the website, but subscribers to the paper itselfâ€”who have free access to the siteâ€”are not going beyond the registration page. Itâ€™s an empty world.
The wider implications of this emptiness are only just starting to become clear. A Murdoch and Fleet Street veteran with whom Iâ€™ve been corresponding about the paywall reported to me on his recent conversation with an A-list entertainment publicist: â€˜What was really interesting to me was that this person volunteered a blinding realization. â€˜Why would I get any of my clients to talk to the Times or the Sunday Times if they are behind a paywall? Who can see it? I can’t even share a link and they aren’t on search. Itâ€™s as though their writers don’t exist anymore.â€™â€™ “