Jan 17, 2010

Building walls

Despite Jeff Jarvis's incessant pleading, the New York Times plans to start charging for online content. The Times will follow the model of the Financial Times in which readers will get a certain number of stories free and then start getting charged.

Once the New York Times puts up pay walls, many smaller papers will consider doing the same. Given the number of bankruptcies, layoffs, consolidations and death spirals in the industry it's very likely that the smaller papers are ready to experiment sooner than later.

Whether this signals a wholesale shift from free content to pay content will depend more on what entertainment sites do.


Anonymous said...

Well, no more going to the NY Times site then.

Anonymous said...

The NYT is going to lose a lot of readers by putting up a pay wall for its Web site, me included. For national and international news I'll read the Washington Post for free online, because I can. Same with the PE for local news.

Newspapers need to announce a day when they almost all will go the pay wall route. Start a movement. Hype the big day. Educate the masses. Then do it. If an antitrust exemption is necessary, then get one by lobbying D.C. But the little here, little there experiment isn't going to cut it.