Tindle to make 100 papers available online after subscription trial success

LONDON - Tindle Newspapers, owner of titles including the Tenby Observer and the Surrey and Hants News, has said that a trial of a paid-for online edition of three of its newspapers has been such a success that it is going to put one hundred of its titles online.

Tindle, founded by Sir Ray Tindle with £300 of demob money paid to soldiers at the end of World War II, made six titles available online over the summer, using online page-turning software Page Suite.

Three were paid for and three were available for free, but sales of the paid-for newspapers so quickly exceeded expectations that Tindle had to increase PayPal facilities to meet demand.

Brian Doel, group managing director at Tindle, said: "We originally expected a few paid online subscriptions in our core circulation areas, with most coming from foreign parts. In fact many of our subscriptions, worth thousands of pounds, came from local subscribers.

"Some people obviously prefer to read their local papers on their computers."

Tindle has 220 titles published in England and Wales. Its trial comes as fellow local newspaper company Johnston Press is trialling a paid-for scheme.

Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch, owner of The Sun, The Times and the Wall Street Journal, is looking at ways he can make readers pay for content online, believing that there is not enough advertising revenue to sustain the newspaper publishing industry.