January 7, 2005

NOT GRASPING YOUR MARKET:

New York Times Mulls Charging Web Readers (Martha Graybow, Jan 7, 2005, Reuters)

The New York Times Co. is considering subscription fees to the online version of its flagship newspaper, which now is available for free, but it has no immediate plans to do so, the company said on Friday.

One of the paper's biggest rivals, Dow Jones & Co. Inc.'s Wall Street Journal, charges for its online edition. A New York Times spokeswoman said the company is reviewing whether it should make any business changes to the online version but that no shifts were imminent.


What percentage of those WSJ subsciptions are paid by individuals rather than businesses?

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 7, 2005 3:45 PM
Comments

I guess I'd be one of the few. Although, it is the only new site I do pay for.

Posted by: mc at January 7, 2005 3:58 PM

I pay for it. Much cheaper than the print edition, and you get Barron's too.

Posted by: pj at January 7, 2005 4:22 PM

P.S.-It's about $5 per month.

Posted by: pj at January 7, 2005 4:30 PM

oj --

I thought everything always gets cheaper...?
Or are you only referring to goods and services with an arguable economic value.

Posted by: Moe from NC at January 7, 2005 5:19 PM

Read the BusinessWeek online cover story from Jan 17 on the NYT. Seems the affectless old crone (Grey Lady) isn't grey from excess pining buy lack of cash. Of course rebranding the print version as a fashion accessory could allow a huge price hike as the terminally hip in new york and elsewhere could pay for cachet.

Posted by: LUCIFEROUS at January 7, 2005 5:22 PM

Moe:

No, I'm saying it won't work. Only the Journal has been able to do it and only because everyone writes it off.

Posted by: oj at January 7, 2005 5:56 PM

More questions— how many WSJ subscribers get both print and online editiions? How many dropped the print when they started paying for the online? Do print subscribers get a discount for going online, too? (Obviously, I've never used them.)

It's a lot easier to get people to pay for something they are already buying (switch from print) when you are adding perceived value (more timely, searchable, etc.) The New York Times doesn't seem to be doing anything like that.

Why can't papers provide links to other websites with background info, for example? Are they afraid that when I leave their site, I'll never come back? Because if that's so, their registration policies right now discourage people like me from going to their sites in the first place.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at January 7, 2005 6:31 PM

I subscribe to the dead tree WSJ. It is still faster to read the DT than the electronic, besides the computer does not reach the porcelain throne. The electronic would be another $3.95/mo (its $6.95/mo if you dont buy DT).

Frankly I resent it. I think they should give DT subscribers free electronic subscriptions. I won't pay for the same stuff twice.

If the NYT goes the same route, I will have the same choice as I buy the DT NYT.

I have no quarrel with publications that limit access to DT subscribers. Why give away what you are trying to sell? But the WSJ approach is Over the Top, why is the same crap twice as valuable? Screw 'em.

Incidentially not all WSJ content is pay. They run a free site OpinionJournal.com with many editorials and op-eds. Also Career Journal has a lot of good stuff especially Jared Sandberg's articles.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at January 7, 2005 9:27 PM

Given how many prima donnas there are at The New York Times, particularly in the op-ed section, it will be interesting to see how they react to suddenly having their world-wide public access via the Internet curtailed by the imposition of a subscriber fee (WSJ solves this by making most of their Opinion Journal content free of charge, so I supposed the Times could do the same for Krugman, Brooks, Friedman, MoDo, Broadway Frankie, Bobby H and the other contributors).

Posted by: John at January 8, 2005 12:22 AM

Robert,

There's this thing called wireless networking...

Posted by: at January 8, 2005 2:47 AM

A large flat tablet (tabloid newspaper sized) with wireless that is waterproof would definitely be a useful appliance, and I don't understand why no one seems to realize this.

But who would bother to reada NYT equivalent of OpinionJournal?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at January 8, 2005 3:33 AM
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