New York Times Will Charge Online Readers After They Have Read a Certain Number of Articles Per Month

From the NY Magazine:

"Hanging over the deliberations is the fact that the Times’ last experience with pay walls, TimesSelect, was deeply unsatisfying and exposed a rift between Sulzberger and his roster of A-list columnists, particularly Tom Friedman and Maureen Dowd, who grew frustrated at their dramatic fall-off in online readership.

Not long before the Times ultimately pulled the plug on TimesSelect, Friedman wrote Sulzberger a long memo explaining that, while he was initially supportive of TimesSelect, he’d been alarmed that he had lost most of his readers in India and China and the Middle East.

“As we got into it, it was clear to me I was getting cut off from a lot of my readers in India and China where 50 dollars per year would be equal to a quarter of college tuition,” Friedman recently told me by phone. “What was coming to me anecdotally from my travels was the five worst words that as a columnist you ever want to hear: "I used to read you before you went behind the wall."

Quality content is, and will be, paid in some form in the future - see WSJ and UpToDate pay models, for example. Free resource such as Medscape, eMedicine and Merck manuals are great but are not match for UpToDate yet.

Updated 01/20/2010:

Starting in early 2011, visitors to will get a certain number of articles free every month before being asked to pay a flat fee for unlimited access. Subscribers to the newspaper’s print edition will receive full access to the site.

The Wall Street Journal which makes certain articles accessible only to subscribers. The Financial Times allows non-paying readers to see up to 10 articles a month, a system close to what is planned by The Times.

New York Times Ready to Charge Online Readers.
The Times to Charge for Frequent Access to Its Web Site. NYTimes.
BuzzMachine, Jeff Jarvis.


No comments:

Post a Comment