We knew it was coming, but the Sun, the UK’s best-selling tabloid newspaper, has moved its digital offering behind a (soft) paywall.
This, of course, means you now have to pay £2 ($3) a week to access the red top’s online content, beyond the 20 free articles you’re permitted each month – this may of course be enough for the more casual reader.
As part of the Sun’s big digital push, the new subscription model also covers the Web and dedicated mobile and tablet apps, which are being relaunched today.
We first reported this paywall was coming back in March, then further details emerged back in May, revealing the new online service would be known as ‘Sun+’, serving up online access via the Web and mobile apps.
While some may have questioned the wisdom of a tabloid switching to a paid digital model, the Sun’s publisher News UK (formerly News International) is dangling a large carrot in front of potential subscribers in the form of access to highlights for all 380 English Premier League games from next season. It won exclusive rights to the mobile and online clips back in January.
Indeed, it seems these Premier League rights could prove pivotal for the Sun’s move into the subscription realm, having shelled out £30m ($45m) for the privilege.
It’s not entirely clear how the Sun will offer the clips via the Goals app, but it will likely be similar to what was offered by previous incumbents Yahoo and ESPN, which had the online (Web) and mobile coverage divided between them. Essentially, goals from each game can be broadcast just after they’re scored, with short highlights made available later.
There will also be an on-demand sports show broadcast twice each day.