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January 23, 2023updated 24 Jan 2023 10:14am

Ranked: FT, Times top list of most expensive digital news subscriptions in UK

How digital subscription prices at the biggest consumer news titles compare.

By Charlotte Tobitt

The Financial Times is the most expensive consumer digital news subscription in the UK or US, closely followed by The Times.

A full-price digital subscription to the FT costs £319, while The Times is £312.

The next most expensive digital news subscriptions are a big jump down in price: Bloomberg is £199 per year and The Telegraph is £189.

Also £189 is The Economist, which leads the magazine market on digital subscription price.

Press Gazette's comparison of digital subscription prices ranked publishers by their full annual price, ignoring any trial or sale discounts. The prices used in this comparison were correct for a UK consumer on Monday 23 January 2023.

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We only looked at paywalled websites, or those such as The Independent with a large amount of premium content, rather than those that are entirely free-to-read but offer something extra such as an ad-free experience to those that choose to pay.

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To subscribe to every outlet in our list at full price, it would cost £2,787.30 per year.

Including only the UK national newspaper brands - the FT, Times, Telegraph, Independent, i, Mail+ - that cost would be £1,043.98.

Adding Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Insider and Washington Post takes that to £1,658.93. And adding The Scotsman, Yorkshire Post, Irish Times, Press & Journal/The Courier and Belfast Telegraph means a total of £2,108.71 - and that is still not including the major news and current affairs magazine titles.

The cheapest news offerings come from the Washington Post (£60 per year) and the i (£54.99).

Where applicable, we chose the standard unlimited digital access option rather than a premium subscription with, for example, bonus logins, an e-newspaper edition or ad-free reading.

Comparing monthly prices creates a slightly different picture to the annual ranking: Bloomberg is higher than The Times at £29.99 versus £26, while the Wall Street Journal (£14.99 per month) overtakes The Telegraph (£12.99).

There are fewer UK regional news outlets (including non-UK-wide titles like The Scotsman and Irish Times) experimenting with paywalls compared to the national market.

National World titles such as The Scotsman and Yorkshire Post are top of the pack price-wise on £119.90 per year.

DC Thomson, which in October celebrated reaching 25,000 digital subscribers to its Press & Journal and The Courier newspapers in Scotland, sells those packages for £59.99 per year while Mediahuis-owned Belfast Telegraph, which has achieved around 8,500 paying digital-only subscribers since the launch of its paywall in May 2020, sells online access for £49.99 per year.

Although we excluded trial prices, some publishers do make steep use of initial discounted prices. For example, the FT has a discounted annual price of £159 compared to its full price of £319 while Washington Post has an offer of £20 down from £60 for a year.

The Economist has a half-price first year of £94.50, The Telegraph has £90 off its first year taking it to an almost-half-price £99, Insider has 50% off down to £40, and The Spectator has a half-price first year at £49.

The New European and The Atlantic were the only publishers not to offer a discounted trial offer.

See the full comparison of annual and monthly subscriptions, plus details of the different trial offers, below:

If we left your news outlet off our list and you feel they should be included, please get in touch with charlotte.tobitt@pressgazette.co.uk and we will add you if appropriate.

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
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