The Times to Stop Rolling Digital News Coverage


The Times and Sunday Times will update their websites and apps only three times a day — at 9 a.m., noon and 5 p.m — the FT reports.

The Murdoch-owned papers will therefore abandon rolling news coverage, going against the trend of digital media.

Alan Hunter, head of digital at Times Newspapers Ltd, said: “People increasingly complain about having too much news. They want a filter.”

The publisher said its research found customers “read us primarily for the accuracy of our reporting, and the originality of our analysis and comment” rather than for breaking stories.

They intend to provide readers with “a curated, finite edition that will keep them fully informed in minimum time, with maximum flair,” rather than a rolling news site.

The move to “edition based” publishing is an admission that customers often turn elsewhere for breaking stories, including 24-hour news channels and Twitter.

Colin Morrison, a media consultant, told the FT that the changes would prompt readers to visit the site at certain times of day, thus building “audience addiction”.

Another benefit would be that advertising may pay a premium to show their ads to large audiences at times when they know many people will be reading.

The Times will be the first major established media outlet to offer this model, but other online news sites are already “edition-based”, including The Pool, a website aimed at woman, and Yahoo News Digest. It was already one of the first major news sites to introduce online subscriptions.

Times Newspapers last week reported an operating profit of £21 million in the year ending June 2015, although paid digital subscriptions decreased 6 per cent in the same period. The average print circulation of the print edition of The Times increased by one per cent to 394,000.

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