Jewishupdates's Blog

January 20, 2010

NY Times to Charge for Frequent Access to Its Web Site

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishupdates @ 4:03 pm

NY Times to Charge for Frequent Access to Its Web Site

The New York Times announced Wednesday that it intended to charge frequent readers for access to its Web site, a step being debated across the industry that nearly every major newspaper has so far feared to take.

Starting in early 2011, visitors to NYTimes.com will get a certain number of articles free every month before being asked to pay a flat fee for unlimited access. Subscribers to the newspapers print edition will receive full access to the site.

But executives of The New York Times Company said they could not yet answer fundamental questions about the plan, like how much it would cost or what the limit would be on free reading. They stressed that the amount of free access could change with time, in response to economic conditions and reader demand.

“This announcement allows us to begin the thought process thats going to answer so many of the questions that we all care about,” Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the company chairman and publisher of the newspaper, said in an interview. “We can’t get this halfway right or three-quarters of the way right. We have to get this really, really right.”

Any changes are sure to be closely watched by publishers and other purveyors of online content who scoffed at the notion of online charging until advertising began to plummet in 2007, battering visions of Internet businesses supported solely by ads. Few general-interest publications charge now, but many newspapers and magazines are studying whether to make the switch.

Still, publishers fear that income from digital subscriptions would not compensate for the resulting loss of audience and advertising revenue.

NYTimes.com is by far the most popular newspaper site in the country, with more than 17 million readers a month in the United States, according to Nielsen Online, and analysts say it is easily the leader in advertising revenue, as well. That may make it better positioned than other general-interest papers to charge – and also gives The Times more to lose if the move backfires.

Click on the following link to read more at The NY Times website: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/21/business/media/21times.html?src=twt&twt=nytimesglobal

http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=45362

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