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On 30th November 2015 The Sun paywall will come crumbling down.
It's fairly obvious why Rebekah Brooks made the decision; publishers are nothing without the reach of social media and this U-turn perhaps proves that subscription models need to be flexible, balanced carefully with (increasingly native) advertising revenue.
Pageviews are the oxygen that keeps every revenue flame burning. But rather than me harping on about advertising and social media, I thought I'd tell the story of The Sun paywall in statistics alone. Here we go...
Here's an example which highlights the importance of internal linking and the creation of hub pages.
To demonstrate this, I'll look at the Guardian and Mail Online's SEO and internal linking strategy, and the marked contrast between the two.
We're looking at publishers here, but the principles apply equally to any website.
In the run up to the tournament, most major news sites created World Cup hub pages for the term, which is likely to be the most popular of 2014.
These hub pages gathered the World Cup content in one place, and should be the most useful for people searching on a generic term.
Ideally, publishers would want these pages to achieve a consistently high ranking over time for the term, allowing them to direct users to other areas of the site.
The BBC and The Guardian are the most dominant UK news outlets in terms of the number of shares on Twitter, according to new data from PeerIndex.
UK Twitter users shared just over 4.2m articles from BBC News in January 2014, which apparently resulted in more than 100bn potential impressions of BBC content to Twitter users globally.
In comparison, content from The Guardian was shared 2.4m times via Twitter while The Telegraph came in third with 913,000 shares.
The research also shows the negative impact that paywalls have on social sharing, as The New York Times is the only paid-for online publications to make the top 10. For more on The NYT's business model, read our report on its recent native advertising trial.
Despite its reputation, Mail Online is the world’s most popular online newspaper, which must also make it the world’s ultimate guilty pleasure.
Often those who visit the site are dubious about the news value, yet the images of half-dressed celebs and salacious gossip keep them coming back for more.
The Mail has perhaps been forced to adopt this model as it needs to chase pageviews above all else in order to maximise its ad revenue.
The only other realistic option is to duck behind a paywall, but it’s not difficult to find celebrity gossip elsewhere on the internet, so it’s doubtful that this would be a profitable strategy.
But is the Mail’s enduring popularity something that brand marketers can learn from?
I took a look at its content strategy to find out...
The Daily Mail has decided to stop pre-moderation of comments on its website, a move which should see an explosion in the number of comments left on the site.
Concerns have been raised, such as the possibility that advertisers may object to their ads may appear next to questionable content, but I think it''s a smart move, which should increase engagement on the site and raise the number of page views.