From earlier last month this Q&A with Mark Finney, head of client sales at Guardian News & Media, in which Finney explains some of the digital ‘experiments’ that have worked for the group and some that haven’t:
Guardian 24 allowed you to download stories scraped from our sites automatically over a number of different areas, and print them as a PDF. It was our way of trying to enter the London free newspaper market but get our readers to pay for the paper and the ink and not have to pay for distribution. It was an interesting thing to do, but it didn’t really work. Not many people did it.
Finney says the Guardian’s iPhone app experiment is paying off: “£250,000 is not going to change the face of newspapers, but it’s 100,000 people who have chosen to pay for an optimised version of my content.”
And on paywalls and registration models for Guardian.co.uk:
[Y]ou could pay for an ad-free version. It was a long time ago that we binned it. It was about £25 to £30 per year. We got something in the order of 2,000 or 3,000 people who did it. Only 2,000 or 3,000 people a year were prepared to pay £25 or £30 for an ad-free version of the Guardian, proving how little resistance to advertising there is.