New York Times paywall

I’ve now learned to never use the quick post option unless its really a quick post 🙂

One of my favorite web sites, The New York Times, has decided on restricting access and bringing its paywall back (I never knew there was one before – I guess I never read it then).

The Announcement

Basically, if you go over 20 views a month the Times wants you to pay a few hundred dollars a year.  I wish them luck, but to me this is a very bad sign for them.  Nobody wants to pay that much money when so much of the rest of the web is free – and so many other businesses are very profitable following modern web based models.  The Times seems to want to revert to an era where they were only distributing newspapers and getting paid for it, unfortunately they just haven’t found a way to do that.  When the marginal cost of distributing information is dropping toward zero, it’s very difficult to get people to pay you for it.  This reminds me of the music industry a few years ago.  Like the RIAA, they deserve to get paid for their content, but also like the RIAA they are going about it the wrong way.

So what should the Times have done?  Well, this is a bit harder to figure out.  They’ve done some experimenting with blogs (free/low cost production), but apparently it wasn’t enough.  Perhaps better targeted ads, or improved social capabilities, or providing some other thing you can’t get everywhere else is the way to go but they’ve decided that the old way of doing things is the best.  We will see how it goes, but I don’t think it will last a year.

Explore posts in the same categories: Information Technology

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