NYT Preps Readers for Monetization Push

Thread Title:
Can Papers End the Free Ride Online?
Thread Description:

The New York Times appear to be preping online readers for their long awaited (and widely talked about) monetization push in a thinly disguised "story" about Newspapers and content.

Here's the interesting bit:

The New York Times on the Web, which is owned by The New York Times Company, has been considering charging for years and is expected to make an announcement soon about its plans. In January, The Times's Web site had 1.4 million unique daily visitors. Its daily print circulation averaged 1,124,000 in 2004, down from its peak daily circulation of 1,176,000 in 1993.

Executives at The Times have suggested that the paper, which already charges for its crossword puzzle, news alerts and archives online, may start charging for other portions of its content, but would not follow the Journal model, which charges online readers $79 a year for everything.

Hello small subscriber base, goodbye links and relevancy...


Monetization only works when

Monetization only works when there is no easy alternative for your users to switch to. NYT crossword puzzle is a unique item and has no close alternative so it can be monetized. But news in general has alot of alternatives. You can search Google and Yahoo News and find all the news you want. The search engines also provide free news alerts. NYT would be smarter to open up the content and sell ads not access to content.

NYT: "Yeah, we might start charging money"

From Nick Wilson of the excellent Threadwatch.org (by way of a reprint at Web Pro News: The New York Times is finally considering charging money...

Mr. Wilson, eh?

There are elements on the NYT site that are exclusively theirs -- Op-Ed, the magazine, style, arts reviews, etc. If they want to further monetize their site, I could imagine them charging for access to those items, but the news is the news. Even if the Times gets a scoop (if there are such things anymore) it'll be on BBC, AP, Reuters et al pretty quickly.

Bringing this back

I don't know if any of you regularly read the NYT online, but I do. In todays Op-Ed piece by Maureen Dowd, she links to an article on the site of the Washington Post.

Now, if the Post were to do what the Times is planning on doing, I wonder if she'd be as likely to link out like that. Does she want to send her readers to a page that tells them they need to pay for the content they're looking for?

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