This week The New York Times killed its "paid content platform," Times Select, effectively making all its online content free for the taking. For the past two years, news and editorials on the site had been free, but all of the material by columnists, plus several special features were behind a "pay wall," which cost $7.95 a month or $49.95 a year. Many saw the Times as the last bastion of paid content (besides The Wall Street Journal, which keeps even more behind its wall) — a sign that good journalism is still valued by some readers.
Others calculated that the Times was losing readers, as well as millions of dollars in advertising revenue with its old system. They predicted that it was just a matter of time before the newspaper would give up the experiment. Will nobody pay for anything on the Internet anymore? And will advertising revenue on the Web grow enough to make up for the loss of print subscriptions that may be prompted by this move? Take a look at some of the views from around the Net after the jump. And let us know what you think — our paychecks depend on information being valuable to somebody out there.
"Apparently someone over at the Times has finally realized what the rest of the Internet had figured out long before Times Select first launched: thars money in them thar ads." Wired.com,
"[The news was] disappointing to true believers in the market value of online news. If paid news content doesn't play as a business proposition in the Big Apple and for the Times' elite national audience, why think it would succeed anywhere else?" Poynter Online,
"All business models must be based on something that is legitimately scarce. Today, no matter how expensive it is to make, content will become freely available quickly." Fast Forward Blogon
"Prior to the Times Select debacle, people would go to the NYT regularly…. Now, the question is whether or not the NYT website can reclaim those regular readers by exposing their columnists to the public again." QandO.com,
"They didn't actually lose money so much as they made exponentially less than they would have made in online ad sales had they not made a HUGE &%*^ING MISCALCULATION and started charging for their content." Jossip
Is there anything that we won't let advertising pay for? Tell us what you think.
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