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New York Times Halves Monthly Free Article Views To Ten

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the nine-after-reading-this dept.

The Media 178

An anonymous reader writes "The New York Times has announced that, starting in April, visitors to NYTimes.com will only be able to access 10 free articles a month, down from 20 articles currently. The NYTimes paywall was put into effect last year, and seems to have been a success, with nearly half a million digital subscriptions to all of Times Co.'s websites; this despite the fact that the paywall is trivial to circumvent (for example, by deleting all cookies from nytimes.com)." The submitter included a link to the WSJ article on the change, which appears to also be paywalled.

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Oh Well (4, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39426857)

It's their site, and their content, and they can decide who gets how much for free. If people don't like it they can get their news somewhere else or buy a subscription. This is how the market is supposed to work.

Re:Oh Well (5, Informative)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39426953)

"If people don't like it they can get their news somewhere else or buy a subscription. This is how the market is supposed to work."

Or they could just delete the cookie and read on.

Re:Oh Well (5, Informative)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427109)

I just open all NYT and WSJ articles in "incognito mode" or whatever it's called on your favorite browser.
 
I like to think of it as a game, where you lose one life each time you accidentally click on an article without opening it in incognito mode. If you lose all 10 lives, you "lose" the game and can't read good journalism for the remainder of the month.

Re:Oh Well (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427331)

You could just configure your browser to nuke all cookies on close. You can even whitelist specific cookies (like login tokens) if logging back into sites gets annoying, though with saved passwords it's not really that annoying.

The only thing I use incognito mode with is for online banking, though I'm effectively incognito anyway, since my chromium install has the no history addon, doesn't have flash installed, has the cache set to store in /dev/null, and is set to delete cookies on exit.

Re:Oh Well (2)

SpectraLeper (1079785) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427339)

Or you can use God Mode to always win, with something like Incognito Regex [google.com] for Chrome.

Re:Oh Well (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427385)

That's the big problem though. What constitutes a "read", and how do they really track it? Simply clicking on a link to an article shouldn't really count as a read, as you could denial-of-service a whole bunch of people simply by sending them to a page with a bunch of iframes. It doesn't even fit with how many people use the internet, where they will open 15 links in different tabs, gloss over the first paragraph, decide the rest isn't worth reading and close the tab.

Re:Oh Well (1)

yincrash (854885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427473)

Do you really think the number of people getting DoS'd to prevent their free access to the NYTimes is a significant number for the NYTimes to care?

Re:Oh Well (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427697)

There's a thing in SEO called "bounce rate" which you can choose to use or ignore. There's no official standard definition, but it ranges from 2-30 seconds of viewing time. It's up to the webmaster to decide how to measure this. I'm sure bounce rate is measured differently for ecommerce than it is for news sites. I'm sure their business team looked very carefully at the bounce rate among many other factors and metrics before deciding to drop it down to 10 articles per month. The web is the future of their $234mm company, you don't make those decisions lightly.

Re:Oh Well (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427281)

Attrition is always a problem - even in a grocery store.

Re:Oh Well (2, Funny)

samkass (174571) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427345)

You know, my grocery store recently increased prices on produce despite the fact that it's easy to take stuff off the shelves and run out the door with it... What does the ease of circumvention have to do with it? Some people will steal if they can get away with it, some will pay their share.

Re:Oh Well (5, Insightful)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427675)

Oh noes! Now reading without permission is stealing! By the way, if you're reading this, then you have agreed to my terms of $0.01 per glance. I think you'll agree, with insightful comments such as mine you're getting one heck of a deal!

Re:Oh Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39428247)

Every society has freeloaders. Not much one can do about them - it is just classified as cost of business.

Welfare always has that percentage of families that sit at home and do nothing.. there are people who go to book stores, read the paper, and then walk out.... :) You are in distinguished company!

Re:Oh Well (2)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427909)

LOL @ "stealing".

Tell me, did I sign some kind of a contract with the NY Times where I promise to keep their data on my machine in exchange for their services? Am I "stealing" if I load their results in a browser that doesn't support persistent cookies?

They offer up web pages on a public webserver, and even allow sites like Google to crawl (partnering really, see the robots.txt [nytimes.com] ) their site.

You probably think it is "stealing" to block known advertising sites as well.

Re:Oh Well (5, Informative)

IMightB (533307) | more than 2 years ago | (#39428033)

It's actually pretty amazing to change your agent string to googlebot and see what opens up for you. For example, all those tech sites that want you to sign up to get an answer suddenly become wide open.

Re:Oh Well (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427669)

There's a dozen of Greasemonkey scripts for it, too, if that's more to your likings.

Thing is, I think most of the NYT's audience doesn't know any of this stuff, so it's obvious that they just don't care if 0.1% of their readers can bypass the filter.

Can't RTFA (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427117)

If people don't like it they can get their news somewhere else

How many NYTimes.com articles does Slashdot link to per month? Expect a bunch of "can't RTFA" comments that until now had been reserved for the major scholarly journals and WSJ.

Re:Can't RTFA (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427967)

I wonder if you can hit your limit by browsing through coral cache [nyud.net] ? Slow as hell, but I guess I'll try it and see.

Re:Can't RTFA (1)

quintus_horatius (1119995) | more than 2 years ago | (#39428147)

Links from other sources (like /. and nytimes emails) are 'soft' counts against your monthly quota. If you're under your allotment then reading the linked-to article increases your count, but if you're over you're still allowed to read it.

Re:Can't RTFA (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39428441)

Links from other sources (like /. and nytimes emails) are 'soft' counts against your monthly quota.

I thought this applied only to specific other sources, such as Facebook and Twitter, not necessarily Slashdot. Can you link to a page describing these soft counts?

Re:Oh Well (5, Interesting)

khr (708262) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427125)

Yeah, it's working. I pay for it, not because I can't get around the paywall, but because they provide a product I think is worth the money.

Re:Oh Well (3, Funny)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427825)

I pay for it, not because I can't get around the paywall, but because they provide a product I think is worth the money.

Hey, man, you're ruining this thread's neocommunist vibe.

Re:Oh Well (1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427987)

I find Google search worth a much larger subscription fee, but I'd still think of them as complete idiots if they erected a pay wall.

Re:Oh Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39428337)

I find Google search worth a much larger subscription fee, but I'd still think of them as complete idiots if they erected a pay wall.

But Google is alreay monetizing you up the gazoo by letting advertisers target you based on all the information they have collected on you (inluding on this site). Of course they would be idiots, they are already selling you at a higher price than if you paid.

Re:Oh Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39428449)

Google Search is worth a lot - and you are paying for it every time you use it. Right now it goes in the form of advertising + analytics and your clickstream information. (Your clickstream is sent to Google even when you are not on Google sites 'cos a lot of sites use google analytics and or google advertising. )

You thinking of someone as complete idiots for putting a paywall, corresponds well with you thinking google search is completely free.

Re:Oh Well (3, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39428167)

I don't pay for it because, while I think the Times' reporting is top-notch, the print side has too much power and keeps the digital version artificially high to prevent poaching. The Kindle version is $20/month and is totally gimped and does not include digital access. Meanwhile the dead-tree edition is about $30/month and comes with unlimited digital access. You can get the dead-tree edition weekday-only for the same price as the Kindle version, and that also includes unlimited digital access.

But this is the best part: just digital access, no Kindle, no dead-tree is... $8.75/week! Yes, $38/month for less product than the dead tree edition. The mind boggles. I refuse to pile up a bunch of unused newspapers just to save $18/month for digital access, so they can pound sand.

Re:Oh Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427261)

Just nuke your cookies when you hit the limit.

Re:Oh Well (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427297)

Goxd bless the market, free and rightkeous.
God blcess the market, free and rigjhteous.
God bless the market, free and righteous.
God blessc the market, free jand righteous.
God bless the mariket, freie and righteous.
God bless tvhe market, frkee and righteous.
God bless the mvarket, free and rigihteous.
God bliess the market, free and righteous.
God bleuss the marvket, free and righteuous.
God bluess the market, fvree and rightyeous.
God bless the market, frexe and righteouxs.

Re:Oh Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427361)

It's their site, and their content, and they can decide who gets how much for free. If people don't like it they can get their news somewhere else or buy a subscription. This is how the market is supposed to work.

Problem is when the market doesn't work in a corporations favor they blame it on the forces of evil and lobby to congress to pass bills and acts that keep their failed system propped up at our expense.

Our economy is not free market capitalism, the politicians and bankers like to convince us it is but under a free market system these big corporations would be left to fail when they refuse to adapt and let their business model becomes obsolete. Instead society is forced to keep carrying them even when we no longer want their product. It's the corporate welfare system. "Privatize profits, socialize losses", that's what we live under.

Re:Oh Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427553)

If you want to pay money you can just move up to the WSJ

Then Google should pull them from their news feed (1)

Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39428071)

Google should pull any paywalled sites from their feed on Google News.

I don't want to get sent to a pay site, when there are free sites available.

And Google needs to crack down on those journals (mainly medical) giving Google full copies of articles so that they get search traffic and give people a paywall.

That is against Google rules and I report it and suggest others do. (now I just block the sites from my Google search usually)

Re:Oh Well (1)

joshamania (32599) | more than 2 years ago | (#39428463)

Agreed. I used to read the NY Times several times a day. When they put up their paywall, even with the easy workarounds, it dropped off my radar. I even wanted to pay...but at the time (and perhaps they still are) one had to pay extra for each device class you wanted to use...$X for web access, $Y for tablet access and $Z for phone access. This worked out at the time to be something like $50 a month...for a NEWSPAPER.

I've heard claims that this is akin to the PBS model...with a minority of people overpaying for content/service and the majority using the product for free. Seems okay for PBS but economically backward for an organization like the NY Times, imho.

Who gives a crap... (-1, Flamebait)

SwedishChef (69313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39426873)

I pay almost zero attention to east coast media; mostly because they don't pay any attention to the west coast (except for Hollywood).

Get Over It Already (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427035)

I pay almost zero attention to east coast media; mostly because they don't pay any attention to the west coast (except for Hollywood).

Yeah and us midwest coast people that read The Star Tribune? We should just totally ignore everything that's happening on the West and East coasts because attention isn't focused on us, the reader, one hundred percent of the time? I shouldn't partake in the enjoyment of the New York Times' excellent book reviews or international coverage because none of those happen to be about me where I live? I shouldn't read the LA Times because even though their 1992 riot coverage won them a Pulitzer, they didn't cover the riots that followed my college hockey team's national championship loss?

Seriously, this East coast/West coast bullshit has got to stop. Get over yourselves and appreciate good news with good factchecking and a budget to send your reporters to be first hand sources.

Re:Get Over It Already (0, Flamebait)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427325)

Until you've experienced the full-throttled self-aggrandizement West Coasters(I used to live there...) swear by, you won't understand their puffery.

Re:Get Over It Already (1)

rthille (8526) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427837)

It could be worse, we don't refer to ourselves as "the real America", nor generally believe that despite his ravaging where we live with tornados on a yearly basis, we've got a direct line to God.

Re:Get Over It Already (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427419)

You guys do know there are other countries, right? Stuff happens in them all the time that could arguably be called "news" and doesn't involve America at all.

Re:Get Over It Already (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427685)

You guys do know there are other countries, right? Stuff happens in them all the time that could arguably be called "news" and doesn't involve America at all.

Citation please...not from the NYT obviously

Re:Get Over It Already (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427847)

You guys do know there are other countries, right? Stuff happens in them all the time that could arguably be called "news" and doesn't involve America at all.

Yes, but for the most part...that news has virtually no effect on the common American's daily life...so we generally don't care that much what else is happening in the world.

It is a large country, and it is easy to grow up here, and never see the majority of our own country, much less see what's outside our borders. Honestly, unless you want to travel, there's not that much need for it....the US has so many diverse areas that visiting inside can be one and one can still get culture shock.

Americans in the NE are quite different (cuisine, accents, colloquialisms, scenery, etc) from the west coast, and the middle of the US and for damned sure of the South and Southwest. In many ways, often the states are like small countries unto themselves, which isn't a bad thing....

But really....not a lot of news in the rest of the world has much effect on the common US citizen, and hence...we don't go out of our way to look at it.

Heck, there's enough going on HERE...and people here don't seem to really keep up with it much, which is sad.

Re:Get Over It Already (3, Informative)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39428311)

Everyone's too polite in Canada to make news.

Re:Get Over It Already (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427603)

Seriously, this East coast/West coast bullshit has got to stop

Yea, it's bullshit. Why'd both Tupac and Biggie Smalls have to die? (and the punch line: but Vanilla Ice is still alive!)

Wait, wrong east coast/west coast

Re:Get Over It Already (2)

quarterbuck (1268694) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427797)

I think of it as a progression.
Before 90s New York Times and the Post were the only sources of real news. They had actual reporters on the field. They were playing the role of both news aggregators (like Reuters/AP) and a paper (with the paper version). Local newspapers then added local content to Times/Reuters/AP news and printed it .
Then after internet, their paper business shrunk while their online version did not catch up enough. So NYTimes became a paper with a lot of reporters on the field, but with not enough ads sold to pay for them. The local newspapers got killed because everyone figured out that you could get 90% of the news on the NY times website for free and the remaining regional coverage on local radio/TV.
Now NYTimes is making the online version expensive. This should really have helped the local newspapers, but they are all dead and people did not grow up subscribing to local newspapers and will not start anymore.
You can still get news from AP or Reuters online for free and without any of the editorial biases (real or perceived) of the Times. East Coasters can still get a slightly biased coverage from Bloomberg (and Bloomberg Businessweek).
The people who missed out are indeed the midwesterners -they lost their local papers while times won't serve them anymore at zero cost.

Re:Get Over It Already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427907)

Yeah and us midwest coast people that read The Star Tribune?

..."midwest coast"?

Dude, the only way you can get away with a phrase even remotely like that is if you live in Michigan, and even then you'd have a hard time with it.

And? (3, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 2 years ago | (#39426909)

It's working for them, that's actually pretty cool. Those who want it pay or circumvent; those who don't move on to other options. '

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this the way it's supposed to work?

Re:And? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427099)

It's working for them, that's actually pretty cool. Those who want it pay or circumvent; those who don't move on to other options. '
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this the way it's supposed to work?

It is. But the larger question is, can this model be useful for everybody. You must remember how a lot of people were (and are) of the opinion that this won't work in the long term. NYT has been kind of pigheaded about this... and it's apparently working. For them.

So... can anybody copying this can expect the same? Is there a formula that can tell us with some precision, how many of your readers you can expect to retain if you implement a paywall? That's the interesting part.

Re:And? (4, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427323)

It will work for anybody in a similar position: producing a lot of content that people want to read, and are willing to pay to do so. Since NYT is unlikely to release detailed numbers, the only formula is trial and error to find the right balance between alienating customers and attracting them. (And this move indicates that they're still refining that balance.)

Re:And? (1)

MisterSquid (231834) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427851)

It's working for them, that's actually pretty cool.

The summary (and presumably TFA) assert that the paywall is working. If that's the case, why is the NYTimes reducing the number of free articles from 20 to 10? I suppose to get every last bit of subscriber mojo. Another possible explanation is that (subscriptions * X) + ad revenue - dropoff < (subscriptions * Y) + ad revenue.

In any case, the pay wall has NOT been up for a year. The pay wall has only gone into effect starting January 2012.

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39428559)

If "work" means only 454,000 subscribers total, compared to Spotify adding 1.5 million customer to a total of 2.5 mil [theverge.com] , or Hulu reaching 1.5 mil customers in a year... I don't think it's working for NYT.

Frist they draw you in, then BAM! (1, Funny)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39426943)

The dealer always gives you a free sample of his book reviews. Then, when you're hooked, that's when he jacks up the prices on you!

Re:Frist they draw you in, then BAM! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427027)

they also did that with the real news papers all those years ago.....
nope...

Re:Frist they draw you in, then BAM! (1)

Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39428195)

Still do in some cases.

I've gotten copies of the Las Vegas Review Journal delivered even when not a subscriber (on a couple of occasions).

Too bad that paper has become so right-wing it is unbearable to read. Just look at their online site and how they keep bashing the Las Vegas Monorail. It was a really good paper before.

And WTF is with Firefox spell check, highlighting the "Las" in "Las Vegas" and "WTF" as spelling errors.

Re:Frist they draw you in, then BAM! (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39428365)

Yup, Tor and Baen books will give you one free book by an author but then you have to buy or scam a download to read the rest. Man, first world life SUCKS!

"trivial to circumvent" (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#39426977)

you realize that for most people deleting cookies only from nytimes.com is technically challenging

and even if it isn't, the hassle factor is enough to move people to buy

Re:"trivial to circumvent" (3, Interesting)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427103)

And the point is a polite reminder that they can't get enough advertising to cover the cost of the content you want, so if you want the content you should pay them.

There are a lot of ways around the paywall. I don't think they are deeply serious about making it half free, half subscription, because people who don't want to pay really won't, and they may come up with a relatively bad scheme to make the NYT involuntarily free if they can't simply circumvent it. I'd rather those who know just delete cookies, than start doing a daily/hourly torrent dump of my website or something. If you annoy pirates enough they'll come up with such and easy way to pirate that no one will ever pay. The NYT seems to have fairly successfully (for the moment) found a middle ground between getting people to pay, while giving away content to those who absolutely wouldn't pay anyway.

latimes hard to bypass (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427215)

I know a way around the WSJ and NYTimes. But not he latimes yet.

If "everyone" implements strong paywalls, I'll subscribe to the NYTimes because it is the most valuable.

Re:"trivial to circumvent" (3, Funny)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427247)

I just feel sorry for the poor information that just so desperately wants to be free but is destined to live its life trapped behind a paywall.

Re:"trivial to circumvent" (1)

Columcille (88542) | more than 2 years ago | (#39428121)

You won't feel so sorry for it when the *real* Information Revolution begins. Information Winter will make Muslim Spring look like Junior Field Day - once Information rises up in revolt, the world will never be the same.

Re:"trivial to circumvent" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427601)

If I hit the paywall frequently enough I would pay a modest amount just because I want to support people who provide valuable goods and services. The fact of the matter is that I haven't hit a paywall in well over a year and I read a large number of articles daily.

GNAA login (-1, Troll)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39426997)

I just use the GNAA login: nigger/nigger. Still works.

Good: the writers get paid. (3, Insightful)

concealment (2447304) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427019)

I'm glad the NYT has found a way to get money for its content. Internet advertising is slowly being recognized as bunk because most of the people spending a lot of time on the internet are not going to buy anything. They're usually retired, young, or unemployed. As a result, the writers aren't going to get paid if the newspaper relies on advertising, and this means that there will be less quality writing for the rest of us. It's better to pay for something and have it be of a higher quality.

The real travesty is that they paid $40 million for that goofball paywall [slashdot.org] .

So maybe (4, Funny)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427061)

Slashdot should post half as many links to NyTimes.com per month?

JavaScript off and the NY Times (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427077)

Surfing without JavaScript allows you to read all the nytimes articles you want

Already stopped (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427113)

Already stopped. I see the same from my friends and relatives. You get the weird pop up, then "oh, its just the times, skip to the next article" in the future. If they have 1/2 mil subscriptions, thats great, but realize thats around a third of one percent of the population. Low enough to not have influence on the population anymore.

Its like making a psuedo-news story that I'm now only allowed to buy half the number of Kia cars that I bought in the past. Hmm 0/2 is still 0.

The bad part is they've moved themselves from the "interesting online newspaper" category to being something to avoid and skip over like ExpertSexChange.

Re:Already stopped (2)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427767)

Not sure what your browsing to bring up that kind of link, but I hope you're not skipping ExpertSexChange to go to something like DIYSexChange.

Re:Already stopped (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427783)

If they have 1/2 mil subscriptions, thats great, but realize thats around a third of one percent of the population. Low enough to not have influence on the population anymore.

I guess the question is, how does that number compare to the number of paper subscribers they had in the pre-web days (or, for that matter, the number they have now) especially outside NYC and environs? The NYT has an influence out of proportion to the number of people who actually read the thing; it's the "paper of record," the "Gray Lady," and starting out with "The New York Times reports ..." has long been a way to lend a story an air of gravitas.

I suscribe - and I'm annoyed! (2)

sampson7 (536545) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427189)

But probably not for the reasons you think.... I have been a subscriber to the Sunday dead-tree edition of the paper for several years now. This, in theory, gives me free access to all online content. But the login system never remembers me. Not on my work computer, not on my iPad, not on my home computer. And the login is often squirrely too.

So I typically use my "20 free articles a month" rather than login each and every freak'n time. I know, this doesn't exactly rise to the level of suffering that really warrants a post - but it's pretty damn annoying. Going to 10 just makes the site even less user-friendly than it already is. Is it really that hard to develop a login system that works???

Re:I suscribe - and I'm annoyed! (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427381)

Yeah, it's like writing good software was hard or something.

(I'm looking at YOU Slashdot and your unicode hating attempts at AJAX / Web 2 / whateverthehellyouaredoingthatscrewsupeverybrowserontheplanet coding.)

Re:I suscribe - and I'm annoyed! (1)

swb (14022) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427723)

I had problems with my login at one point, but it's been pretty bulletproof across 3 computers, an iPad and my iPhone for a couple of years at least.

What annoys me more is the new JavaScript "dynamic" comments engine. I really enjoy the comments on articles and the new system is borderline unusable on the iPad.

Re:I suscribe - and I'm annoyed! (1)

rthille (8526) | more than 2 years ago | (#39428331)

Someone else may be accessing your ID, or there may be something going on with your browsers. I never have to re-login to the times (despite not being a subscriber, I've got a free account from way back when), Safari and the Times seems to work out who I am every time.

Whatever! (0)

mholve (1101) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427305)

I stopped reading NYT (which admittedly wasn't much to begin with) when they first introduced their paywall.

That's fine - now I can just ignore their site altogether. Congrats, NYT.

Re:Whatever! (0)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427351)

As far as I'm concerned New York Times is an "Ex-Newspaper" they once existed but don't anymore.

Sure, there are rumours they still exist, but I see no evidence of it because I refuse to pay.

Re:Whatever! (2)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427373)

Sure, there are rumours they still exist, but I see no evidence of it because I refuse to pay.

Yeah, I was shocked when I saw this story here because I hadn't seen anyone link to a New York Times article in a long time and thought they'd gone bust or something.

Re:Whatever! (1)

TheTrueScotsman (1191887) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427995)

All three of you are idiots with your freetard moralizing. Are you so technically retarded that you can't even work out how to get free access to the site? NYT has excellent journalism that (probably) can't be supported by an ad-based model. Sometimes you get what you pay for.

Problem with Digital Subscriptions (2)

jcern (247616) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427365)

Since I purchased an iPad, I have started reading more and more of my newspapers and magazines on their apps. I find that the overall experience is just as enjoyable, and the convenience is great. For most of what I generally read there is complimentary digital access for their print subscribers. So, I get both versions and this is fine for weekly or monthly periodicals. However, for newspapers this can be annoying.

When it came to the NYTimes, after they started charging I called to find out about subscription options. While I don't mind the idea of paying $35-40 per month for something I read, what I found was that it was significantly cheaper if I ordered the print version which also includes digital access. The reason for this is that print ad rates remain significantly higher than digital, so therefore they make up for this by charging extra for digital only access. I suppose you could always donate the paper to the library or something, but that involves too much effort for me, and I for one didn't want to waste the paper by not reading it. So, I ended up using a print subscriber's digital access (which is surprisingly legal). I think many publications are in the same boat.

I think it is great that papers are starting to find a way to make money off of their efforts, and the NYTimes has been smart by easing into their pay model. However, the issue as I see it is that until they can find a way to level the playing field with their old-school paper offerings, the digital version is going to continue to be seen as a throwaway by advertisers who find little value in it - and then consequently by readers since it can be perceived as a ripoff. Hopefully, a successful pay model is a step towards this, but I think this may just be finding a way to make some extra money without getting to the root of the problem. I guess the alternative is that we move toward an economy where we recognize and pay for the actual value of something and not a heavily subsidized price.

and (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427435)

Nothing of value was lost (or reduced).

Except for Spinal Tap (1)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427443)

Their ability to view New York Times free articles will go to 11.

And nothing of value was lost. (2)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427461)

Journalism is pretty dead anyway, but have fun on your trip to obscurity NYT.

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427671)

I agree, the NYT has the most poorly written/edited articles imo as well.

It's the NYT's loss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427485)

I used to be an avid reader of the NYT years ago, and even made it my browser homepage. Since the restrictions began I read it less and less, and prefer the Economist and the BBC instead. It's also no longer my homepage.

Perhaps the restrictions made good business sense for them, I wish them well.

NYT and WSJ are both commie snot-rags... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427489)

Pravda gives a less leftist view of the world.

Fro5t p1st (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427497)

from wiThin. [goat.cx]

If I want to read The New York Times... (-1)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427509)

...I'll just go directly to the press release from the Democratic Party, the Obama White House, or Media Matters.

Every now and then, the NYT comes out with decent reporting, but their primary purpose today seems to cocoon liberal urban atheists with articles that reenforces their worldview, and to lose Carlos Slim money.

Customer Service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427533)

I stopped reading once I had to deal with their atrocious customer service

500,000 subscribers (3, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427567)

According to a quick Google:

Half a million PAYING subscribers is in line with the number of people with an Iridium satellite phone, the number of people who use MuveMusic on their smartphone, or the number of people who pay to play Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO, etc.

I.e. statistically insignificant, especially if you only count the US. I can't name anyone in the above groups, for example, and it's the amount of people Spotify attract in just two months.

I can't remember the last time I saw an NYT article (despite, a few years ago, coming across them all the time online). I certainly can't remember the last time I tried to "bypass" anything to see a website like that. Or the last time I subscribed to any website (I did have a subscription to LWN.net - and Slashdot - at one point but more as a donation to them than providing any benefit to me).

Hell, the last time I actually bought a paper, there *wasn't* a decent online version of any UK paper (but I was still getting all my news from the Internet), and the paper wasn't even for me.

You can try singing about your paywall all you like but the more restrictions you put on non-paywall activities, the more it confirms my suspicion - they know they will die if they don't get more subscription readers, if they aren't already dying. If they were happy and comfortable and making lots of profit, they wouldn't care about the article limit, or they'd raise it, or they'd have "free" versions and "premium" versions and not have to crowbar you into the premium version all the time.

My granddad's generation - who took whatever news was fed to them - would probably be that loyal to a paper, or even a political party, without thinking. Nowadays? If you don't put your news online where I can see it, it won't get seen.

Re:500,000 subscribers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427665)

Well, by your wonderful 'reasoning', Google, Facebook. CNN, MSNBC, etc, are all even more insignificant than the NYT, because they have ZERO paying customers.

Re:500,000 subscribers (1)

jmcbain (1233044) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427715)

they know they will die if they don't get more subscription readers

Amazing analysis. A company will go out of business if they don't make money.

It must suck for you to be so low in the 99%. Good luck in life.

Re:500,000 subscribers (2)

MisterSquid (231834) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427979)

This move comes 6 days after I sent an email to the NYTimes.com about the paywall. Here's what I wrote:

First, I want to thank you for providing your articles free of charge for so many years. I also want to acknowledge the high quality of your reporting.

I've been reading the NYTimes online since 1998. My username is mistersquid. I have a low-traffic blog and have frequently linked to the NYTimes. Most of the articles I read from the NYTimes I find through RSS. I know how to route around the NYTimes paywall to retrieve articles, both by using 3rd party aggregators and by URL-rewriting.

However, in the last two months I have severely curtailed my reading of the NYTimes online because I understand the NYTimes wants to monetize online reading and I am unwilling to pay money. That is, I consciously avoid clicking links to NYTimes articles and look for other sources (eg. BBC), even though I know how to get around the restrictions.

I know I am only one person, but I wanted to let you know that even the nominal restrictions on article availability discourages me from reading your articles even though I know how to get the information for no charge. Insofar as readership is only as valuable as the money they pay, the NYTimes editorial perspective is valueless to the public. I don't believe this is what the NYTimes wants, but it is the situation that obtains in my particular case.

I don't have any ideas about how the NYTimes can generate revenue from people like me. I do know, though, that a paywall makes me look for the information elsewhere.

Sometimes I consider paying, but the non-discounted price for online access seems unreasonable given there is no physical distribution. I will not condescend to you by suggesting a reasonable price; I only know it will have to be lower than it currently is for me to consider paying instead of avoiding NYTimes online content.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my views regarding your pay wall.

tl;dr: You're charging WAY too much for your digital-only subscription ($180/year minimum) which costs much less than paper to distribute.

The question I have is... (3, Insightful)

pdboddy (620164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427677)

If you are a paying subscriber, do they remove the ads?

Re:The question I have is... (2)

Talennor (612270) | more than 2 years ago | (#39428095)

I used to by the paper version. It had ads.

I damned-near rely on smoke signals (1)

Cazekiel (1417893) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427711)

Here I am on /., where you'd all laugh at me for not even having TV, complicated cell phone (NO cell, at the mo) or anything starting with an 'i'. For real and for serious, not even a conversion-box to watch HD local channels, just a TV set (a giant box, not a flat-screen; it came free when we saved an abused teenager from his gay-hating mom, as he brought it with him and let us keep it) VCR/DVD player and five shelves/one giant bureau drawer of movies. Couldn't keep up with the Crackberry payments. Don't care about Apple products.

Everything I need to know about the world is through the 'net, and I don't subscribe to any news-sites that require pay. I hop in here, google shit, whatever else. So the NYT charging money makes me turn my head and go stupid-eyed like a confused dog. I know WHY they do, they gotta charge, and why people prefer their services to others, but I've never subscribed to an actual paper, never mind pay for pixels. Am I too backwards? It's nothing against anyone/anything, or choices people make... I just don't find it necessary. I may not know everything that's going on in the world, but I'm not under a rock, either.

The Old Feedback Loop Marketing Trick (1)

SirBitBucket (1292924) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427805)

Post a link about the pay walled NYT site on the pay walled WSJ site. Then post a link back to the pay walled NYT site on the WSJ site. You use up everyody's ten free views and people realize how cool these papers are and start paying for them..

Either that or we end up in a Chronic Hysteresis...

Irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427823)

The submitter included a link to the WSJ article on the change, which appears to also be paywalled.

Nicely done, submitter. I bet your mother...

(To read the rest of this comment, please subscribe today!)

Ethics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39427861)

Isn't Slashdot supporting circumvention of business security by distributing that kind of information in the summary? Regardless of the circumvention methods's technical simplicity, doesn't a US based website need to be concerned about the DMCA in this day and age?

Or do the editors simply not care?

Cost of print subscription cheaper than digital? (3, Insightful)

Sir Homer (549339) | more than 2 years ago | (#39427961)

Am I reading this wrong? It seems that the cost of a print subscription is $3.85 a week but INCLUDES the $35/mo (holy crap that's expensive) digital subscription.

It kind of baffles me 500,000 people paying as much as ISP service for access to a single newpaper? Are they including print subscriptions in that number

Re:Cost of print subscription cheaper than digital (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 2 years ago | (#39428519)

Are they including print subscriptions in that number

Yes, 500k people have some kind of subscription to the NYT. I tried to find a number for the people with online-only subscriptions, but they don't seem to publish that number...

The real question (2)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 2 years ago | (#39428047)

The real question is whether anyone will notice the NYT going behind a pay wall? I keep hoping Fox News would disappear behind one, but finally had to throw in the towel and install MurdochBlock.

I doubt I'd notice if either one of them disappeared. It's so amusing to watch colonial media struggle with a new frontier.

Re:The real question (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 2 years ago | (#39428553)

Thanks for letting the world know about MurdochBlock. I've just installed it on all my computers, I'm sure it'll make my life a lot less stressful.

Good (0)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 2 years ago | (#39428061)

This is good. The less of NYT's liberal propaganda people are reading, the better.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39428139)

Blow it out your ear. You'll find way worse over at Think Progress.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39428513)

Die in a car fire, commie. Go back to Kenya with that terrorist you put in the white house.

Simple workaround . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39428299)

When you load a NYT page and it blocks your access, just delete everything after the question mark (?) in the URL, then reload and all will work as if you're a subscriber.

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