Today (1st of August) marks the launch of The Sun’s online and mobile pay model as it seeks to follow The Times in monetising its digital proposition beyond advertising.
Key to the appeal of Sun+ is exclusive content; securing the rights to Barclays Premier League highlights is a significant coup which may prove fruitful enough to secure subscriptions. Investment in a £3m studio in Wapping further highlights News UK’s commitment to delivering quality content beyond traditional media.
Certainly, it’s been anything but a soft launch. In paper, the digital revolution was met with a wraparound cover of British landmarks followed by a spread setting out the paper’s stance of a range of issues. Sun+ is a key part of News UK’s efforts to re-brand in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal and it represents a brave move. Undoubtedly the site will haemorrhage passing traffic but The Sun will hope that declines in CPMs and display revenue will be offset by guaranteed weekly subscriptions.
Ultimately, quality and breadth of content will determine success. The mix of popular news and celebrity scoops synonymous with The Sun are widely available for free, so Sun+ will rely heavily on the strength of the brand and unique content that no other publisher can provide. News UK will hope that such a bold move demonstrates the public’s appetite for paid online news and pays dividends.
- Sun Launches Online Paywall For Digital Content (news.sky.com)
- The Sun Sets Behind a Paywall (mspublishing.wordpress.com)