Show Hide image

Times gives readers free access to sponsored editorial

Paper aiming to boost ad revenue after big drop in online readers.

The Times, which began charging for online content in June, is now allowing readers to access sponsored editorial content for free.

The websites of the newspaper and its sister publication, the Sunday Times, are running a series of sponsored features and site-lets (a small temporary section of a website with a particular focus) for companies such as Accenture, Courvoisier, Alfa Romeo, Chevrolet and ICIS as online extensions of a recent paid supplement.

The Accenture campaign, actually for a business news section called Need To Know, is being presented in navigation as content, and is outside the paywall, reports digital media news site paidcontent.

Giving free access to sponsored content is an attempt to retain ad revenue in the face of a sharp drop in the Times' online readership, adds market intelligence portal StrategyEye.

The Rupert Murdoch-owned publication recorded a 66 per cent drop in its online readership after it erected the paywall, according to recent Experian Hitwise readership figures.