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New York Times to charge 'frequent' Web readers in 2011 (updated)

Spending too much time at the New York Times' site will cost you, starting next year. That newspaper's ownership announced plans this morning to charge an undefined fee to people who read more than "a set number" of articles a month at its Web site.

A story in the Times offers more details: Print subscribers won't be subject to these limits, the monthly quota hasn't been set and can change, and the paper will be building its own software to run this system. The article also notes alternatives the Times considered and rejected:

The Times Company looked at several approaches, including a straightforward pay wall similar to The Journal's; various "metered" systems, including the one they chose; a "membership" format similar to the one used in public broadcasting, with rewards for supporters but little or no limit on access to the site; and a hybrid among those options.

You can also read the memo sent by Times management to newsroom staff at the media-gossip page run by Poynter Institute staffer Jim Romenesko. (Newsroom-wide memos always wind up on Romenesko, The Post's included -- I don't know why we don't just publish ours here first.)

It's hard to say what I think about this plan when so few details about it are available. The Times certainly publishes a worthy product; as I've testified before, I grew up reading Mom and Dad's copy of the NYT (it took me years to discover that other newspapers included comics and didn't make you follow a story that jumped from one section to another).

But what works for one reader may not work for an entire readership. If the NYT sets its monthly quota high enough, it won't deter casual readers, but it may still force authors of other sites on the Web -- a major source of traffic -- to think about linking to a Times story that will lead some readers to a request for payment when other news sources won't pose that risk. As prolific policy blogger Matthew Yglesias mused about that issue yesterday: "So will I owe it to the readers to find Washington Post or AP or Reuters or BBC or Politico versions of those stories to link to?"

So in that sense, the NYT's move could be good for the traffic of The Post and other news sites that don't charge for access. This will be interesting to watch.

Update: Hold on, it looks like the NYT won't count stories read through links from external sites against a reader's quota. In a Q&A exchange yesterday morning, Times executives Janet L. Robinson and Martin A. Nisenholtz wrote that "If you are coming to from another Web site and it brings you to our site to view an article, you will have access to that article and it will not count toward your allotment of free ones." As media critic Jay Rosen observed, that "looks a lot less like a pay wall to me" and "scrambles a lot of what's been written on the subject." You can count this post among those scrambled reactions--the Times' strategy now more closely resembles the "freemium" strategy that so many Web sites have used successfully, and which I've praised myself.

What's your take on our competitor's move?

By Rob Pegoraro  |  January 20, 2010; 10:51 AM ET
Categories:  The Web , The business we have chosen  
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Next: Microsoft fixing Internet Explorer vulnerabilities. Again.


Either people will find a way around paying for the online NYT or they will simply stop looking at it.

For better and for worse, people are used to not paying for things on the internet. The NYT is not pursuing a successful business strategy.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | January 20, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Well, the lefties will probably be willing to pay to hear the NYT preach to the choir, but the rest of us will simply get our news from less biased sources.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | January 20, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Get ready for fail, because that's all that's going to happen.

Posted by: futbolclif | January 20, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

When they start charging I'll quit. Their advertisers will not have the benefit of my reading and using their products.

Posted by: tpk1 | January 20, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Riiiight. You'll probably turn on Fox News for your "fair and balanced" reporting.


Well, the lefties will probably be willing to pay to hear the NYT preach to the choir, but the rest of us will simply get our news from less biased sources.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | January 20, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: thedude1974 | January 20, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

we have a Sunday-only print subscrip. so no effect on us... we'll see but I bet many will not want to pay for content/access.

Posted by: fendertweed | January 20, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

It really depends on what the NYT's article limit is. Compare to a bookstore: If you go in and read a chapter of a book, they'll let you. If you go in and read an ENTIRE book, they MIGHT let you. But if you go in, day after day, and read their books for free, they are going to tell you about libraries and bar you from coming to their store. Nobody has a problem with book stores doing that. So if the NYT is generous with their limit (say, 100 articles per month), nobody will fault them, and most people will still visit their site. But if they make the limit miserly (say, 3 articles per month), then it will be like a book store that doesn't let you peruse their books. People will then just abandon them.

Posted by: dmm1 | January 20, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

The NYT is valuable resource- The Washington Post is a valuable resource. They both at considerable expense keep try to keep the public informed. I want to continue to read both papers and can only have these experiences if they are able to pay their expenses.
To ask me to pay for receiving these papers on the internet makes sense. There are no free lunches.
There are thousands of publications available on the Internet.
I will gladly pay to read the publications that help me be better informed- being informed is what seperates a democracy from a dictatorship. A small price to pay.

Posted by: dontishman | January 20, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

All kinds of questions -- here are three for starters:

1. How do they track you to keep count? Through your IP address? Sign-in name? Cookie? Will this method be subject to simple circumvention?

2. Is this the acceleration of a trend? If so, how long before WaPo follows? Would WaPo commit to NOT following the NYTs?

3. Is this move a sign of desperation on the part of the NYTs (and perhaps newspapers, generally), switching from dead-trees to online (already well underway), and from an advertising-based revenue model to a subscription-based model (which will reduce advertising revenue). How likely is it to succeed and fund traditional journalism? To what extent is the failure of the free-view advertising model attributable to Firefox's Adblock add-on (and perhaps similar browser products)?

Posted by: rboltuck | January 20, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Back in the day, I did the Times crossword every day. When they began to charge for it, I stopped, and haven't missed it. There are many sources for information and amusement on the Internet without opening one's wallet. Let us hope that the Arts & Letters Daily site will continue to cover the important columnists such as Friedman, Brooks and Dowd.

Posted by: Geezer4 | January 20, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Well, the lefties will probably be willing to pay to hear the NYT preach to the choir, but the rest of us will simply get our news from less biased sources.


and what would those unbiased source be? let me guess......

Posted by: stevie2 | January 20, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I have made the NYT site a regular stop in my consumption of online news. I think every news source has either some or more than some bias so I just want easy access to the facts and I'll take care of myself in sifting through the bias.

As others have said, what happens depends on the article limit and the cost of additional access. Who knows? My habits can be changed, but if the NYT continues to cover stories quicker than the WP and the cost is not too much, whatever that is, I may be willing to pay for what is now free.

Finally, while I am accustomed to largely free Internet information, I've always been skeptical of advertising supported Web information even though it has worked in the radio and television broadcast models and, thus far for the Web. Sadly, the subscription based "TV" services make you pay and still interrupt content with too many ads. That's another topic, other than I predict that NYT's Web subscribers will still endure the many popups with or without the ability to bypass them with a click!

Posted by: Arlington4 | January 20, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Well, the lefties will probably be willing to pay to hear the NYT preach to the choir, but the rest of us will simply get our news from less biased sources.


and what would those unbiased source be? let me guess......

Why, Pat Robertson, of course.

Posted by: truamerican | January 20, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Although I read the NYT online daily, there are too many other news sources to pay for it. A few years ago, they charged to read some columnists online and that didn't last long.

Posted by: checkered1 | January 20, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

You wrote:

"What's your take on our competitors' move?"

How about "competitor's"?

Posted by: pcstorandt | January 20, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Oh God I hope the Post doesn't follow.

Posted by: rocotten | January 20, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

New York Times Was Proud of Fact That Every Major Public Library in USA had Microfiche FREE for public useage of Every New York Times Issue Printed. Charging Must Be isp idea, to Rake Public.

FaceBook Also Might Start Charging near Summertime. Those Server Farms RUN Equipment obtained For FREE. Use People whom are Stuck in Guarded Gated Communities For Worse than FREE, Get Paid by State to House & Feed letting Muppets scan & Comment.

If Cann't READ for FREE, its' BAD Group of People Personaly breaking away from Is Best Idea. Equipment Has Finally Got Thru Starting Block of NT6 & Much More Advanced Computing, As Hardware Approachs OK. Wasting Money Is Bad, Even Low Bandwidth deals, such as VeriZon, When Comcast give Double BandWidth for Same Rate is ALL Part of Maintaing Viable Connectiveity.


Posted by: ThomasStewart1 | January 20, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Very happy to see the discussion take off this quickly... in the sense that it shows people still care about newspapers at some level :)

@dontishman: Thanks for your support. For what it's worth, I think the NYT should have pursued the "membership" option instead, and I think we should too--if we've got fans who are willing to pay, it seems silly to refuse to take their money.

@rboltuck: You're asking the right questions. I'm sure there will be workarounds for any system they implement, just as you can read a WSJ story for free by running a Google search for its headline and clicking through to the result.

@pcstorandt: Picky, picky... the apostrophe has been relocated to its correct location.

@rocotten: I haven't heard any suggestion that we plan to follow the NYT in this case. Remember, we didn't charge for access to columnists when our competitors set up Times Select.

- RP

Posted by: robpegoraro | January 20, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't have any major problem with paying a modest sum for a full-access online subscription to the NYT. It should be at a significantly lower charge than print, but there's no reason to exclude advertising entirely.

We've all gotten used to having things free online which we had to pay for if we got them in hardcopy, so it's no wonder that the print media are struggling to survive. Online subscriptions for regular readers (and free access quotas for others) are not an imposition, but a sensible option.

Let's be real - it's a balancing act between making information available, and keeping the providers of that information afloat. Back before the internet, a commentator didn't expect to hand out free copies of the Times if he referred to an article; he quoted the article (sometimes at length) and sent his readers to their own copies or to the public library.

Posted by: fsd50 | January 20, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

It's about time! Good for them.

Posted by: ex-journo | January 20, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

This is what the NYT must -- and should -- do. They should start sooner than 2011, and the WP should do the same. I'm willing to pay for both of them, since I no longer live within the delivery area.

Posted by: AZANNE | January 20, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

To make pay work in a universe of almost unlimited free information sources I think they will have to do three things. First the cost has to be so low that it is not even a consideration. Basically a fraction of a cent per article. If a product is good enough to bring in a lot of traffic all those fractions of a penny can add up to big bucks. Second for that to work they are going to have to come up with a very low cost way of collecting the fees. One that does not rely on even minimal effort for the reader beyond perhaps clicking on an agreement to pay. Setting up accounts and giving out credit card numbers is a non-starter. Even Pay-pal is too much trouble. People will just avoid the site and get the same stories for free elsewhere. Which leads to the third point. Any site that is planing to charge had better own the story. The New York Times can hardly charge for stories they are attributing to the Washington Post or a wire service.

Posted by: markswisshelm | January 20, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

If my memory is correct, they tried this a few years ago and failed. The readers just went away.

Is this time different?

Only if all the other kids, Wash Post, Politico, etc... do the same at the same time.

Posted by: jeffu1 | January 20, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I just added Adblock Plus to Firefox on my computer . . . this must be world's greatest add-on.

Posted by: dcnate | January 20, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

New York Times Select - their previous pay-to-view-content - ended about 3 years ago, didn't it?

I wonder what they're going to do this time that makes them think that it's going to be a viable business?


Posted by: -bc- | January 20, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Once one major newpaper goes this way, they will all do it. It is frustrating but I suppose necessary to keep news in print.
I predict the Washington Post will head this way within the year.

IF you are a paper subscriber, you get content free. That is fair. What bothers me is that I like to look up news sometimes on the site for my home community where I grew up. A few months ago they went to pay format so I can no longer go there to read anything unless I now pay.

Posted by: jiboo | January 20, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I deleted the NYT from my favorites months ago. It wouldn't bother me if they closed the doors. They all regurgitate the same AP story.

It won't last. No one will pay to read a story they have already read or heard.

Posted by: OneFreeMan | January 20, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

The Wall Street Journal can charge because most of their readership can charge it as a business expense i.e. the company subscribes. The Times is different. If they are not generous with the number of articles per month the plan probably won't work.

Posted by: interactingdc | January 20, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Considering how full of FAIL their last attempt was, and how long it took them to acknowledge that, I'm expecting this to crash and burn spectacularly. I'd be very happy to pay, say, $.05 an article, but chances are they will have some subscription scheme because their marketing execs aren't sure how to fit only one article through teh Interweb tubes without sending you a whole section. And I don't read it often enough to justify any kind of subscription.

Posted by: MaxH | January 20, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Given the blatant bias of "All The News That's Fit to Fake" NY Times, I expect that they will charge for each:
-lie read
-half-truth read
-distortion of facts read
-baseless slime attack read.
The good news for it's loony-left d-crat socialist readers is that they can think of these charges as new TAXES - and we all know how much the loonies love taxes!

Posted by: TeaPartyPatriot | January 20, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

The NYTimes is a quality publication, assuming one can overlook the sin of misplaced apostrophes. I live on the west coast, and suffer from a scarcity of publications where the writers can string together a cohesive sentence. I'm fairly certain the Oakland Tribune is written by the local high school's remedial class, and the amount of bias in the San Francisco Chronicle is mind-blowing.

If the fee is nominal, say $50/year, I wouldn't have an issue with it. A per article fee just bugs me, it feels like an unknown and hence open-ended cost. If I knew $50/year got me unlimited access, I could more easily quantify the ROI.

Posted by: ivb1 | January 20, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

What's to keep people getting their news for free on Google news or Yahoo news?

Posted by: jimward21 | January 20, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: NovaMike | January 20, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I've become increasingly aware that in an Information Age, Information is less and less free and more and more a commodity.

Thank God for the libraries! Perhaps the Corporate Media Culture and Environment will find a way to atrophy them?

Posted by: Spectator | January 20, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: WashingtonDame

"Well, the lefties will probably be willing to pay to hear the NYT preach to the choir, but the rest of us will simply get our news from less biased sources."

When are the GOPper's gonna change their party name to the 'Nattering Nabobs of Negativity?'

Doesn't driving the wedge ever get tiresome?

Posted by: donspecht | January 20, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

i'm sure you guys will follow and like krebs i'll be sorry to see you go. they want me to pay so nothing changes, big building downtown, big printing machines, three or four levels of labor before i read what you much of that expense is actually needed to promote news gathering and how much is- lets never change anything.if it was good enough for grand dad its good enough for me.i really hate to support the infra structure that is not needed, like the grand dame exe that wants all her spare time to peddle influence and have the elite over to the house. great get a good job and do it but don't ask me to subsidize your myth making.i think getting rid of as many steps between the guys that write and the guys that read is the best formula as it would be for the music industry. anyway i see the internet as guerilla warfare on the status quo but thats just me.

Posted by: trjohnson8890122 | January 20, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

While I have a lot of sympathy for the New York Times' financial predicament, I think a lot of people will simply shift elsewhere for their news, such as Yahoo and Google News.
Also, UK papers, Times Online, Guardian, and Telegraph as well as the venerable BBC still provide breaking news and analysis throughout the world. In contrast, the Post and the NYT are shuttering overseas news bureaus. The UK papers do not appear to feel the need to impose a pay wall and will likely benefit from the NYT's self imposed isolation from the greater Web.

Posted by: manfromtallahassee | January 20, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Bye bye NYTimes. If I'm a Times staffer I'm polishing up the resume for another gig.

Posted by: rg019571 | January 20, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

What will happen to the NYT iPhone app? Same thing?

Posted by: hlef | January 20, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Once upon a time I read the NYT Op-Ed page daily,especially Maureen Dowd. Then the Times Select thing started and I opted not to pay. I did not miss Ms.Dowd and others. Then the NYT dropped its Select plan. The first couple of days I read all the Op-Ed columnists daily. Then they began to strike me as S.O.S (same old ----). Net, net: When they were on a pay basis they weren't worth the money (to me);when they returned to free status, they weren't worth my time.

Posted by: burtiek | January 20, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting how many people here and in similar discussions write that they don't believe what the New York Times writes; that they don't like the time's slant or "agenda", that it's a "leftist" paper pandering to the Administration, that they don't read the New York Times, etc.

If you don't read it, if you're complaining about their coverage, if you don't trust the paper or its reporting, why even comment about what they're trying to do to survive.

The quick comments of most people here, over the years, regarding advertising, is that they don't read the ads, that they won't read the ads, that they have pop-up blockers turned on so the ads won't show, and so on. But then they expect all the material to be free, with no apparent regard as to who will pay the people for putting the paper together, who pays for the reporting. And when you ask them to pay a nominal fee (whatever that may be), they're adament in saying no. And, a fee is charged, they'll simply get their news from non-papers, such as Google, Yahoo, Drudge, the blogs, etc.

There are very few websites (other than the newspapers with on-line editions, and some radio/television websites) that provides any reporting on its own; the overwhelming majority either have links to or copies of what the press has reported. How many blogs have reporters on the street covering Haiti, neighborhood events such as crime or movie schedules, high school sports, obituaries, city hall issues, local legal notices, solicitiing local advertisements (neighborhood supermarket sales, local auto dealerships, etc.), and consolidating it all into a single, easy to use "paper"?

What you will likely end up with will be limited bloggers who will give a lot more of their "expert analysis" of what others have reported, and much more slanted (to the right or left, conservative or liberal, us versus them, etc.) than ever.

You can dislike the New York Times, or Washington Post, or any other paper (hard copy or on-line), and you can read what suits your political or personal biases (after all, few people will admit to reading what consistently provides a different point of view). But if they weren't out there providing significant reporting, and providing material for others to post-online, where/how would you get your information?

And if you're not going to read the advertisements, and don't want to pay to read, who's going to remain in business? Somewhere there has to be some concession by the consumers.

Posted by: Dungarees | January 20, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

jimward21 wrote:
"What's to keep people getting their news for free on Google news or Yahoo news?"

If there are no papers, no news combines, no reports on the street reporting because there's no income for reporting or salaries, where do you think Google news or Yahoo news will get their "news" from? They don't have reporters; they're not paying a staff to be on the street and gather information. Rather they have a relatively small staff to compile material that others report, and they then post it on-line (in a similar manner to the on-line newspapers and magazines) for people to read. They make their income from advertising.

If they can't get the material to print, what are they going to post as Google news or Yahoo news? Do you think they'll start hiring reporters around the country? And if people blantantly say they don't and will not read advertisements, how long can Google or Yahoo news continue to provide free content?

The bottom line is, who will pay and how will they pay so the news media can pay its bills?

Posted by: Dungarees | January 20, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Interesting model. But I think the end result could be some downsizing at the NYT.

I'm guessing here, but currently, probably 4 sections of the NYT generate 85% of their clicks (national/politics, opinion, NY region, and sports). The pages like science, health, style, travel etc. are more likely to be an afterthought. So if people suddenly are presented with the option of paying or just prioritizing their reading, a lot will choose the latter option.

Which means views of the 2nd tier sections may well plummet. And so those sections could shrink as the NYT saves money or shifts resources elsewhere.

Posted by: Booyah5000 | January 20, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

It all depends how much the fee is. If it's under $25/year, I bet they'll preserve a good readership.

Posted by: cbk22 | January 20, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

With news search tools like Google out there circumventing the Wall Street Journal restrictions as well a people copying an pasting article all over the web, I doubt the New York Times policy will accomplish the desired goals. News providers, the recording industry, the movie makers, and even book publishers are all going to develop new tools and revenue models to be able to support ongoing operations. It makes more sense to provide a convenient method of delivering the product to millions or even billions of viewers for a small fee rather than attempt to get by on a few people paying higher fees. Smartphone delivery systems and news readers like the iPallet or Amazon device are the new delivery tools.

Posted by: thw2001 | January 20, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

no surprise. wapo will be jumping on this soon.good.

Posted by: pofinpa | January 20, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Success of the NYT strategy may depend upon how low the price per article is. A person who reads muchly may turn away from $1 per article but would be tempted again and again to pay a dime per article. For the NYT, low price plus large number of ppv readers might just work.

Posted by: TeresaBinstock | January 20, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

TimesSelect was $15 a month, and its restrictions struck me as arbitrary. One could often not know except through experience which features were behind the paywall. Their daily e-mail summaries indicated TimesSelect content, but if you followed a link in a story, there was no way to know if it would smack you into the paywall. As has been mentioned, it didn't last more than a few months.

It depends on how the program is designed as well as what it costs. If I pay for an online subscription, does that mean I won't have to put up with all the resource-hogging Flash ads? Or the rollover ads which hijack your browser cursor? Now THAT I might be willing to pay for just because of the time saved. I would hope that payment results in a better online experience, not just access to more stuff. Having a bazillion cable channels of infomercials has not made me any happier as my cable TV bill has escalated at twice the CPI rate.

It will also, as others have mentioned, depend on the actions of competitors, both old- and new-media. So far the Wall Street Journal seems to have made a go of restricted access, but they are the only major example which comes to mind.

I agree with commenters who have essentially said that if you don't like or read the Times, then you don't have a dog in this fight and to shut the hell up.

Posted by: 54Stratocaster | January 20, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

And... There goes the NYT.

Sure there will be a few out there that will rally support, but in the end anyone demanding the public pay for news is doomed to fail and will lose all clout along the way...

Posted by: ProveMeWrong | January 20, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

rboltuck asked: 1. How do they track you to keep count? Through your IP address? Sign-in name? Cookie? Will this method be subject to simple circumvention?

Let me add to that: Why the decision to build vs. buy? I'm happy to pay for news I want to read on the NYT site, but less happy to pay for a newspaper company to develop software (not their core competency, may I point out?) How accurate will the software be? How secure? Isn't this capacity available cheaper out there somewhere....?

Posted by: --sg | January 20, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations on actually soliciting comments from readers. For some reason most of the other discussion in the papers that are proposing to charge has studiously avoided allowing comment, perhaps because they knew what they would say. Too much of the discussion consists of claims that the public "should" pay. Whether Murdock feels that you should pay is irrelevant. It is an empirical question; if the NYT or Rupert's Times charges will the loss in clicks (and advertising revenue) be more than made up for by the new revenue stream? The FT may have received increased subscription revenue but how much ad revenue did it lose? In this context, it would be interesting to know what the Economist's recent experience has been since it introduced a pay wall.

Posted by: ianstuart | January 20, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

not to belabor the point again , i'm not out to steal your content but to get what i pay for.advertising would pay for the condensed version of the wapo that i read every day.not withstanding no script add block flash block request policy and all the other junk i'm running on the browser. but you can't make any money having to print the damn newspaper for the 300 or 400 hundred idiots that think it's 1967.its not the internet that is the enemy its granddad wanting nothing to ever change. and a little more technology wouldn't hurt either,the led films they are developing that could probably replace paper, then a subscription would get you something that plugs in and downloads content.then the web could still be free but in the condensed form you now see it. the key is to get rid of that desk and that parking space and the several layers of management that think they are entitled to a life's subsidy down at the big edifice and by the way don't ever write a lousy word.

Posted by: trjohnson8890122 | January 21, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

@"I don't know why we don't just publish ours here first."

I can think of no better indicator of the newspaper's denial that the internet is something that they have to deal with.

It's very hard to go from one of the sole sources of news to just one of the many. WP has not yet made the change, NYT is struggling, but not as hard. But people will read up to any amount they set and then go elsewhere. Times Select V.2 will kill readership totals, which will queer advertising revenue. Again.

While Google makes billions "keeping it simple" the Post bleeds out pushing miasma like the new on-line Metro section. It's like watching late 80's PageMaker tyros with fontarrhea. So sad. Ms. Weymouth, buy a clue from Google. Simple is fast, nimble and user interest guided. It is better.

You *could* really shake up the net if you could think outside the box.

Posted by: Peggy_M | January 22, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

NYT tried putting their Flack reports and columnists behind Times Select. What a joke. Not only did no one buy a subscription, even the advertisers went away. It ook them a couple of years to get everyone back. Look, Maureen Dowd, Krugman, Freidman and the rest of them up there are liberal puppetheads. You read them to see what puppetheads think, if it's free.

But to PAY to read their drivel? Not me. And so sorry, Rob, I'm not paying for the Post either. The pattern is already set. You folks in the on-line world are NOT going to get away with charging us for content when on top of a fee we STILL have to wade through reams of pop-ups, broken ads and bandwidth stealing bots that slow down the delivery of the content you would charge us for.

You folks put your content behind a subscription at your peril. Your writers will become has beens, instantly losing 95% of their on-line readership, AND, the ads you collect for now will be lost anyway. Deal with the devil. We tolerate your ads, we read the content for free.

Posted by: JamesChristian | January 24, 2010 1:27 AM | Report abuse

donspecht and your "nattering nabobs of negativity" - ever hear of spiro agnew?

dmm1 - "bookstore: if you go in, day after day, and read their books for free, they are going to tell you about libraries and bar you from coming to their store" - ever hear of Barnes and Noble? I'm in every weekend, reading for free...the NYTimes...been doing it for years.

Posted by: featherstep1 | January 25, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

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