New York Times To Charge For Online Access Beginning January 2011
Starting in January 2011, you will have to pay to read an article on the New Times website:
CHICAGO (MarketWatch) — New York Times Co. will begin charging for online access to its articles early next year, said Bill Keller, the newspaper’s executive editor, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
Keller broke the news at a Foreign Press Association dinner late Thursday, the newspaper reported.
The fees will go into effect in January. The company had laid out a user-pay strategy earlier this year, but the exact timing had been an open question.
The Times tried something like this several years ago, of course, with Times Select, but quickly discovered that people weren’t all that interested in paying extra for the “privilege” of reading Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd. So, now, they want to put the whole site behind a pay wall.
It’s still unclear how this will work, or how much the Times is contemplating charging for a subscription, or access to an individual article. However, I can’t see how this will have any result other than a decline in overall traffic. Rather than paying to access NYTimes.com, it be much easier for people to just go to one of the many other news outlets that aren’t charging.
Online news providers obviously need to find a way to make money at what they’re doing, but I don’t see the subscription model as the answer to their problems.