Guardian thinking about "members' club"

Guardian newspaper execs are considering launching a "members' club" with additional content, as an alternative to the "paywall" subscription approach being taken by Rupert Murdoch's News International.

A survey sent out to registered members of the newspaper's site said: "The Guardian is considering launching a members' club which will provide extra benefits in return for an annual or monthly fee. These benefits might include, for example, a welcome pack, exclusive content, live events, special offers from our partners and the opportunity to communicate with our journalists".

Some assumed that this would also lock away some of the existing content on the website, which was made 100% free six months ago after the paywall around the crosswords was removed. However, Emily Bell, director of digital content from the Guardian has responded:

"No - we are not contemplating a pay wall, nor as far as I'm concerned would we ever... they are a stupid idea in that they restrict audiences for largely replicable content. Murdoch no doubt will find this out. Our strategy is entirely around reach and audience engagement - both of which would be irreperably damaged by pay walls".

Would you pay for being able to talk to journalists, or live events? Share your thoughts on the Guardian's plans in the comments.


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