New York Times Columnists Subscriber Only
NYT.com to charge for Op-Ed, other content as of Sept (MarketWatch)
The New York Times Co. (NYT) on Monday said that, starting in September, access to Op-Ed and certain of its top news columnists on the paper’s NYTimes.com Web site will only be available through a fee of $49.95 a year. The service, known as TimesSelect, will also allow access to The Times’s online archives, early access to select articles on the site, and other features. Home-delivery subscribers will automatically receive the service, the NYT said.
Kevin Drum writes, “I predict that’s going to go down with New Coke as one of the all-time bad marketing decisions in history.”
Julian Sanchez agrees, noting,
William Strunk once said that to air one’s views gratuitiously is to suggest that the demand for them is brisk. Well, in our age of blog, there’s a lot of gratuitous airing, and one can’t help but suspect thatÃ¢€”if the laws of supply and demand holdÃ¢€”that makes it a less-than-propitious time to start trying to charge for 800-word opinion squibs.
Quite right. Julian discusses the value of the shared experience as part of what Big Name columnists brings.
My guess is that this won’t actually happen. Four months is an eternity in Internet time and the swarm this story will generate will likely persuade the management at the Times of the idiocy of this move. There are too many good columnists out there I don’t have time to read now. If the NYT doesn’t change course, they just make the winnowing process somewhat easier.