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Tuesday, 24/11/15

A media market update - an in-depth look at what's been happening in:

Digital: revenue forecast for 2015 +27.5%

Since re-joining News UK as CEO after a four year absence, Rebekah Brooks has announced that The Sun is due to remove its paywall and offer most of its website content for free from 30 November.

This is a major U-turn, the publication put up its paywalls two years ago in July 2013. However the Sun struggled to attract enough paying digital subscribers in that time, with reported numbers peaking at 225,000 subscribers in late 2014.

The paywall news broke only weeks after News Corp announced its acquisition of digital video ad tech company Unruly. The company specialises in distributing and tracking video content, as well as advertising and content across social media.

It is expected that News Corp will leverage Unruly's digital content expertise and insight to inform News UK's digital content strategy, helping the Sun grow its digital audience free from the shackles of paywalls. Unruly will also operate its innovative video formats across News UK's properties, with an increase in ad revenue the likely result.

This news is likely to impact on the wider national press online landscape. The Daily Star and Mirror websites both enjoyed significant online audience growth from August 2013 when the Sun raised its paywalls. Time will tell whether these brands will be able to maintain their audience with The Sun's new strategy.

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