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Monday, January 18, 2010

New York Times website about to go pay

And with it many readers will doubtlessly go away. Interesting, tough call -- there's no easy way for the news biz these days.

Comments (9)

I think it is a good idea and it acknowledges the changing landscape of the news media and allows for survival of formerly print news outlets.

The are some online news outlets that would not be worth paying for and we all have our personal opinions on that. And there are some that are more valuable than others.

This might be similar to when airlines started cherging for checked bags. Everyone gets pissed at first, then sort of gets used to it. There will be some that hold out and use "free" as a competitive advantage (like SW Airlines) but eventually, everyone will get use to paying.

I don't have a problem with them doing this, but I'm just not sure it's going to work.

I signed up and paid before and I will no doubt do so again. It was easy, inexpensive and I really like having access to the NYT any time and any place.

My opinion is that this is timed for the release of the many e-readers and their paid subscription software announced at the CES convention couple of weeks ago.

They already tried this once and saw their online readership numbers go into free fall.

Pat is correct to an extent. The NYT tried putting their top columnists behind a 'pay for access' firewall - Dowd, Freidman, Krugman et al. It failed miserably.

Once they block their site, they will be cited less often elsewhere and become less important. That is the conundrum. If you want to be a player these days, you pretty much gotta have free access, but free access means no income. No easy way forward for The Gray Lady.

Like it or not, almost all the major daily newspapers will go to paid online access if they want to survive and hold on to their writers. The Wall Street Journal has only limited access to content for non-paid subscribers and will likely go that direction even more later this year. And also it has the highest circulation of any daily newspaper.

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