Pioneering paywall paper a spectacular flop


Over in the antiquated world of print media, the doddery old puffins who run things have spent the last few months trumpeting away about their erections. To elaborate, the erections in question are paywalls – mysterious barriers that separate readers from content with the magic battering ram being hard cash.

Naturally Rupert Murdoch is a keen advocate of paywalls and we can expect him to start erecting his all over the place in 2010. But the early signs are not good, at least if the trailblazing paywallers at the Long Island daily Newsday are anything to go by.

With new owners and a restructuring and relaunching budget of $4 million, hopes were high that readers would stump up the five dollars a week (about £3) to read the paper in its online form.

But at the end of the first three months, Newsday have admitted that they have the grand total of just 35 subscribers – the relaunch outlay of $4 million recouping a mere $9,000.

Could this be a sign that news junkies will refuse to cough up cash for their fix if there are free goods elsewhere? It remains to be seen but the news could well have made Rupert Murdoch a tad twitchy.

Needless to say, your caring, sharing Bitterwallet will remain free to use – until we can guarantee a surefire way of raking the coin in of course!

Only joking – or are we?


  • dfgh
    bw better be free, its pretty shit see your 3253 readership go to 0 in a flash
  • Mark P.
    Don't worry, if there were a paywall on this heap of shit website I wouldn't be here. Only joking - or am I?
  • Liam
    DFGH that isn't the number of readers dipshit, it is the number of people subscribed to their site.
  • The G.
    Amen to that 'dfgh'! It's as my Chinese friend would put it 'Ploppa Lubbish'.
  • Fella-Tio
    lol nice comments tbh people read BW cause they are bored and the links are splashed all over HUKD. If it wasnt for that I wouldnt read it its shit and the news is a minimum of 24hrs old with a lot or articles stolen off HUKD
  • Paul S.
    You're our favourite type of readers - the ones who think it's shit but keep on reading anyway. Chin up, crimefighters!
  • Terrence D.
    I read it in between writing more banal 80's mediocrity.
  • dfgh
    well then, actual readership must be even less. probably only andy and paul have subscribed multiple times, dipshit
  • Mark P.
    If you want a real consumer website try the Consumerist. It's American, but no less banal because of it. Also you will get your Bitterwallet articles 24 hours earlier if you read it.
  • andy y.
    BW belongs behind a shitwall
  • Paul S.
    The Consumerist is ace. News from other credited websites (or 'stolen', if you're Fella-Tio), unique material of their own (Fella-tio suffers from selective reading and tends to miss these pieces) and stuff about incorrect packaging and price labels in superstores. What's not to love? They read our site and occasionally run our stories the following day. That's how the interwebz, and indeed the media, works. dfgh - daily readership tends to be several times higher than the RSS subscription number.
  • Sideysid
    I consider BW to be like a ginger stepchild, can be banal, not pretty to look at, but its always there so you learn to live with it.
  • -]
    I love BW, it's like the serious news and the funnees all wrapped up in one. And the bw staff clearly want to suck paul rose' ballsack, which is fine by me. I wouldn't pay for it though - same goes for any other webshite

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