Paying for NY Times online?

1/18/2010:

Is this the final play the NY Times will be able to make?

Would you pay to read the NY Times online

Old business model incompatible with modern times?

I’m sure many of you read this weekend that the NY Times is planning to release some kind of payment system for their online news content that has been available for free (advertiser supported) up till now:

“The newspaper is expected to announce in coming weeks that it will institute a metered pay plan in which readers would have access to a limited number of free articles before being invited to subscribe, according to a report in New York magazine that cited sources close to the newsroom.”

Top-heavy like many organizations?

the economy affects corporate big wigs tooMany of the articles I read failed to even think about what problems the NY Times might be having that they cannot survive on an advertiser-supported business model – like most other online websites!

Just like any municipal budget, or union – it’s a reasonable assumption that their cost overhead is too high – and may be the result of decades of lavish comfort and high profit margins. Along with that, are the high salaries for top-level executives and long tenured reporters and editors. Add to that the cost of office real estate and marketing – one should think of where to cut that fat from their own operation prior to taking from their customers during tough economic times. Seems like they don’t want to tighten their belts while we ride out the storm.

I believe this to be of paramount importance, considering there are plenty of other free sources to get the same information that the NY Times publishes. It’s not like they have an entirely unique product that is essential in your daily life (electricity, water, etc.) How hard is it to re-think their model without impacting their readers? Cut pay where necessary, mobilize their offices, employees, etc?

Here are some comments from New York Magazine that I agreed with:

  • “Had they done this from the outset with their site, it would have been workable and wise. I believe by attempting to do it now, they will ultimately fail. It seems to me that on the web, when people have been given something for free, for a period of years no less, they are rarely apt to suddenly develop a willingness to pay for it. Besides, there are too many free alternatives. Given difficult economic times, people will accept a lesser quality and just move elsewhere.”
  • “If the NY Times is worried about advertisers cutting back due to the recession, what do they think the the average person will do when faced with fees for online access? Since the NY Times online readership dropped precipitously during good economic times, it’s difficult to see why would they expect that charging for online access now would be any different. If anything, a sharp reduction of online subscribers seems likely.”
  • “They are no longer journalists: they are left-wing stenographers taking dictation with whatever nonsense liberals will feed them, without questioning the material. With this kind of coverage (or not covering stories that would have hounded conservatives for months), what’s the point of reading the rag? You can get MSNBC for free.”

Poll: Would you pay for the NY Times online?

Would you pay to read the NY Times online?

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26 Comments on "Paying for NY Times online?"

Sidd Finch
Member
Sidd Finch

iPad is just a big iTouch. I can put my iTouch in my pocket as I listen. Not sure who wants to carry the iPad around when they could do more with laptop at similar size.

Anyone know if there is a monthly charge for Kindle’s 3G access?

9
Member

Agreed on AT&T. The other thing I don’t like about it is that, much like the iPhone, you can’t replace the battery. A screen like that has to burn battery life. I don’t believe the claims of 10 hours. I’d want to have an extra battery with me if I were relying on this. And I still think the price is too high, even though it was lower than a lot of predictions.

Easy-E
Member

You can get little battery packs that plug into the bottom, you just put a 9 volt in there and it gives you about another 3 hours of use. A friend of mine showed me a little rechargable battery pack that will actually fully recharge the iPhone 3 times.

I’d like to have an iPhone, but I’m looking to leave AT&T

In response to 9 who said:
Agreed on AT&T. The other thing I don’t like about it is that, much like the iPhone, you can’t replace the battery. A screen like that has to burn battery life. I don’t believe the claims of 10 hours. I’d want to have an extra battery with me if I were relying on this. And I still think the price is too high, even though it was lower than a lot of predictions.

freewheelin
Member

re iPad: Not to mention the only carrier you can use with it is AT&T, just like the iPhone. Didn’t Apple learn anything? Count me out. I think it will bomb. Unfortunate name too.

SummitGuy
Member
SummitGuy

Yep. it seems to be just a giant sized iPod touch.

SummitGuy
Member
SummitGuy

Did anyone notice that the web page that appeared during the Apple iPad demo, and in the new promotional pieces all show the NY Times web site?

getz76
Member
getz76

I did notice that. Too bad the iPad looks rather anemic compared to what it could be. No Adobe Flash, no real OS, and pricey compared to a netbook. iPad might be the next Apple TV.

In response to SummitGuy who said:
Did anyone notice that the web page that appeared during the Apple iPad demo, and in the new promotional pieces all show the NY Times web site?

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