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New York Times Heads For The Paywall

David Gilbert by

New York Times Heads For The Pay Wall

News is a funny thing. Everyone wants it, but very few are willing to pay for it. That has resulted in many online editions of newspapers being unable to decide whether to go behind a pay wall or not and the New York Times is no exception.

The 30 million monthly readers of NYTimes.com have up until now had unfettered access to the content. But from 28 March most of the content will be heading behind a pay wall but casual readers will still be able to access up to 20 articles a month without paying. Subscribers who want access to everything on the site will have to pay and executives at the Times have come up with some labyrinthine options for people looking to subscribe.

Among the four week options are $15 for web and mobile access, $20 for web access and a dedicated iPad app or if you just want to have it all you can pay $35 every four weeks. The Times has said that everyone who has a subscription to the print edition of the paper (remember those?) will have free and unlimited access across all Times digital platforms except, for now, e-readers like the Kindle and Nook. Subscribers to the International Herald Tribune will also have access to the online editions.

The move by the Times to head for the pay wall having allowed free access to the content for so long is a potentially dangerous move. The road to pay wall success is littered with many publishers not as famous or respected as the New York Times. Announcing the move, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., chairman of The New York Times Company, said: “This move is an investment in our future. It will allow us to develop new sources of revenue to support the continuation of our journalistic mission and digital innovation, while maintaining our large and growing audience to support our robust advertising business. And this system is our latest, and best, demonstration of where we believe the future of valued content – be it news, music, games or more – is going.”

While $15 every four weeks for newspapers may seem reasonable considering you are getting almost 30 editions of the paper, when compared to News Corp’s The Daily, which is about to go into subscription mode for 99¢ a week, it is going to be a difficult journey for the Times to make this model a success.

Source: New York Times

Go to comments


March 18, 2011, 3:57 pm

Bad news for the US military in the Land of the FREE and Justice the American way!!!

That will mean fewer NYT Readers to manipulate:

"Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media

"Military's 'sock puppet' software creates fake online identities to spread pro-American propaganda"


But then again they are probably NOT as easy to sucker as the more 'descerning' clients of Facebook and Twitter et al.

Tim Sutton

March 18, 2011, 5:55 pm

Thanks for that Enigma, the US army spending money on public relations is certainly something to lose a lot of sleep over. Got your tinfoil hat on, I assume?

Is it just me, or has the Guardian gone completely batsh** mental since the election? They're every bit as foam-at-the-mouth insane as the Daily Mail now, but red instead of blue.

I'd be really interested in the number of subscribers for The Times online.. I haven't taken the plunge yet, but I've thought about it a fair bit. I almost certainly will subscribe the next time I go away on holiday and don't have a paper delivered everyday.

I think paywalls are the future for newspapers.


March 18, 2011, 6:44 pm

@Tim Sutton

"I'd be really interested in the number of subscribers for The Times online.. I haven't taken the plunge yet, but I've thought about it a fair bit. I almost certainly will subscribe the next time I go away on holiday and don't have a paper delivered everyday."

If you subscribe to the physical paper and have it delivered then you can sign on to the online version for free. My wife has a subscription and I read it online most days.

Tim Sutton

March 18, 2011, 8:48 pm


Thanks for the heads up, I'll borrow someones details and have a proper look :-)

I live in a small town and my local newsagent is a small independent, so I have papers delivered direct from them rather than subscribing.


March 18, 2011, 11:50 pm

Is it me or are those male hands with fake nails??!! Look at the watch, its a man's watch! W T F


March 19, 2011, 2:02 am

@Tim S.

Yup, tin hat and cardboard cut-out gun at the ready to protect the Saddam's WMD Dossier, Rumsfeld, Sir!!!

Some of us are well aware of the history of "the US army spending money on public relations" and have GOOD LONG MEMORIES.

However, why buy a hard copy if you can get an online electronic copy? NOT very environmentally friendly - look at the WHOLE process from printers to your door step.

Even more to the point why subscribe when there are plenty of FREE options from online to 24-hour TV news as it happens and when it happens.

Thus saving £6.50/week for The Times and £2.00 for Sunday Times: A TOTAL annual saving of £442!!!! Price of a nice Note Book; Holiday; Canon EOS 1100D for a few quid more; etc etc.


March 19, 2011, 10:55 pm

@David Gilbert: The New York Times - Respected. Are you at all familiar with the Valerie Plame affair?
Here's hoping they fail just as miserably as they did the last time they introduced a pay wall.

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