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New York Times Exploring how to Charge for Content

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the frog-boiling dept.

Media 332

Mr. Christmas Lights writes "According to the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times is mulling subscription for Internet Archives. It doesn't appear that the free (but subscription required - BugMeNot to the rescue!) ability to read NYT articles less than a week old would change. However, instead of paying $2.95 per article for stuff that is more than a week old, one idea being floated is an annual fee of $49.99 for unlimited access to anything in the last year." (More below.)

Mr. Christmas Lights continues "The WSJ has been pretty successful with their online subscriptions - over 700,000 people currently pay $79 ($39 if you get the print edition) a year for full online access of the last 30 days of articles - the story above happens to be in their public area. But they are a notable exception, with media organizations struggling to charge for News now that it is widely available for free on the Internet. For example, Slashdot recently discussed the AP's plan to charge members to post content online. Will the "GoogleZon" end up replacing the 4th Estate as depicted in the entertaining and informative 8 minute EPIC video?"

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332 comments

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Maybe the WSJ should read the NYT (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12430891)

They covered this themselves two months ago [com.com] .

Do it yourself (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12430900)

Sheesh for that price I might as well start archiving their content myself. Slightly ironic too that this article is about NYT not making enough off its online content and you go and post a BugMeNot link in the blurb, good one Slashdot. ;)

Re:Do it yourself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12431017)

A troll huh?

Two words (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12431128)

Google cache

First? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12430901)

Pervyj nah!

Or... (5, Insightful)

Craig Maloney (1104) | more than 9 years ago | (#12430902)

Or we could just explore other sources of news than the New York Times. I can sympathise with their need for revenue, but they are certainly not worth $50 a year for me to access, and certainly not worth $2.95 per article.

Re:Or... (3, Insightful)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431026)

I agree. 2.95 is a bit steep. Even their paper print (which costs them the most amount to produce) are not 2.95/issue. Maybe 10 cents/issue. Or $20/year for unlimitted access for consumer/non-profit level (businesses should pay more as they will use the service more and probably for profit)

Re:Or... (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431133)

And it's not like they have any valid justification for claiming that back issues cost much money for them to host...

Yeah, you have to have the hardware and the storage space but it does NOT cost $2.95/issue.

If you want people to use the service and get the information then make it priced reasonably. I know that I have posted about this before but I will repeat it: If you want to keep your users and don't want them to go to a competitor don't do this...

maybe garden variety news consumers not the target (4, Insightful)

nanojath (265940) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431066)

I don't think it would appeal to the average consumer - 50 bucks a year, 3 bucks an article, both sound about the same to me - as in, sounds like I won't be reading that article - but I wonder if NTY even believes it would. For a research reference, it could be well worth it though. I could see political campaigns, lobbyists, PR agencies, a lot of different things finding a $50 fee well worthwhile for being able to get that instant access online to the NYT archives.

Re:Or... (1)

Jim_Callahan (831353) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431071)

50$ is 50 sunday papers (or less, if you're unlucky in your city of residence) or about 100 weekday papers (neither of those is a full year's worth at newsstand price). So I, personally, don't think 50$ for a year of news is that bad.

Re:Or... (2, Funny)

kaalamaadan (639250) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431090)

You pay not just for the apparent content - you also pay for the journalist ethics and morality that goes into responsible journalism. If NYT is not worth $50 annual fee, neither are our freedoms. The "4th" estate has been an essential ingredient in democracy (I know about India's case), and I think a bit of repayment is in order. Though, I do not support the established media's efforts in suppressing the emerging blog culture.

Re:Or... (4, Funny)

Gojira Shipi-Taro (465802) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431159)

Equating the NYT with ethical Journalism.

That's funny. Mod parent up.

Re:Or... (5, Insightful)

cybermage (112274) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431110)

certainly not worth $50 a year for me to access

I'm sorry, but I don't get this attitude. Do people really think that news should be free?

Newspapers are very important to our society. It is the only medium in which the reader is actually paying for the news they receive. Why is that important? Well, strangely enough, just about everyone works to serve the interests of the people paying them. TV news, especially Cable networks, aren't paid for by the people watching -- just the advertisers. Newspapers are partly paid for by advertising, but they wouldn't exist without paid subscribers.

Try this experiment at home:

Buy a newspaper, say the NYT for example. Then check sites like CNN, Fox, etc. to see if they are carrying anything like the depth of stories you see in the newspaper. I'll bet that on the International News and Business side you won't find more than 60-70% of the stories on the news websites. For local news, try comparing your local paper to your local TV news website. It'll be just simply embarassing for the TV guys.

Now, try to tell me that 14 cents a day isn't worth the difference in coverage between Print and TV/Online coverage.

Re:Or... (3, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431206)

Well, newspapers werre very important to our society because they had a monopoly on the news and they had the place of being where legal statements were to be posted (name changes, arrests, that sort of thing).

They've let that status to go thier head, in the case of the NY Times and in the case of other "vital" news agencies like Reuters and the BBC so that they feel they can craft the news or spin it how they feel is right.

As for the TV and Radio news being paid for by advertisers...gee...last time I looked in the NY Times or Wall Street Journal there were advertisements in those mediums as well.

The News should be free. The archives should be free.

Good news for the Wall Street Journal (3, Insightful)

johnjay (230559) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431220)

The NYTimes is in a difficult position.

If they charge for subscription, they are in danger of losing a vast portion of their readership, and no longer be the paper of record (well, they may still be the Paper of Record, but the distinction won't be important. They will no longer be the News Source of Record). They are competing with AP, Reuters and the BBC in this realm, all of which will continue to pump out all the international news anyone could hope for.

If the NYTimes hopes to justify the expense by touting it's higher-quality product, it will have to explain how it's reporting standards are lower then the WSJ and magazines like The Economist, both of which have far better reporting then The Gray Lady.

The price isn't horrible in the abstract, it's that the paper isn't worth the price. I often consider subscribing to the WSJ at $70/year. It is possible that one of the main reasons I don't subscribe is that the NYTimes is available for free. If the NYTimes starts charging, the result, for me, would probably be a subscription to the WSJOnline.

So, in order to compete with the WSJ, the NYTimes may be forced to improve it's product. That is not a bad thing, at all. Although it will be a lot of work, the NYTimes has a better chance of reaching a $50/yr value then most other online news sources.

Well, I for one... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12430907)

...would pay for it; it's the best news service coming out of America right now.

English guy.

Re:Well, I for one... (1, Flamebait)

Zphbeeblbrox (816582) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431029)

You can not be serious. In recent past several of their journalists have admitted to making up stories and plagiarism. The NYT sucks as a news source. NO wonder they are having revenue problems.

Correctness (5, Funny)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 9 years ago | (#12430909)

They should only charge for articles that are true, or where the reporter actually did the work, instead of sitting at home in his flat in Brooklyn smoking dope.

Re:Correctness (1)

justforaday (560408) | more than 9 years ago | (#12430980)

Very true. I go to other sources [amazon.com] when I want something written by someone sitting in their flat smoking dope.

Re:Correctness (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12431010)

I'd just read some Hunter S. Thompson. RIP.

volkskrant (4, Interesting)

bosz (621199) | more than 9 years ago | (#12430919)

In the Netherlands there are already paid subscribtions for online content of newspapers. For instance the Volkskrant [volkskrant.nl] offers a subscription for receiving the paper newspaper only on saturday and on weekdays you can watch the articles online.

Re:volkskrant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12431093)

I don't really know Dutch, but to my American eyes "Volkskrant" looks like "The people's rant". What does it really mean?

Re:volkskrant (2, Informative)

kentheman (24620) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431117)

Lit. The People's Paper.
One of the largest newspapers, with a social-democratic (in US, liberal) influence.

Their best bet (3, Insightful)

brontus3927 (865730) | more than 9 years ago | (#12430923)

Their best bet would be to offer both. A $2.95/article and $49.99/yr for those who wanted one or the other. If your doing research and need 1 old article, then your best bet is to pay $2.95 for it. But if your researching, say, how common it was for Bush to be mentioned on the front page since he took office, your going to be reading A LOT of articles, and paying 50 bucks is a much better deal.

Re:Their best bet (2, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 9 years ago | (#12430985)

"If your doing research and need 1 old article, then your best bet is to pay $2.95 for it."

And you would identify that 1 'right' article you need how? By paying $2.95*n until you find it?

Perhaps that works if you already know which article you're looking for, but I don't think 'research' often works that way.

Re:Their best bet (1)

brontus3927 (865730) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431115)

It has for me. When you search the NYT archive, you can read a "summary" which is the first 50 words. And in newspapers, the first 50 words usually is a summary.

Insidently, you can also purchase "multipacks" where you buy articles in bulk amounts of 4, 10, and 25 and debit articles from your multipack as you need them.

Re:Their best bet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12431003)

If "your" looking for English lessons, I think you should get them for free.

The free internet is dead (1)

PacketScan (797299) | more than 9 years ago | (#12430932)

Now that you have Highspeed it's not good enough. Yyou have to spend hundreds of dollars a month to sneeze it seems. So when is slashdot going to start charging a fee?

Re:The free internet is dead (3, Insightful)

bmalek (855094) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431019)

The faster the processor, the better the connection, the more money you spend on getting the most up to date, modern, super-duper computer... the quicker the ads come across, the more spam you get.
You know the old saying: "A sucker is born every minute," we can rehash that to: "A sucker spends money on information that can be retrieved elsewhere for free every minute."

The free internet died many years ago, probably around 1995 when AOL decided to give its users access to usenet.

Re:The free internet is dead (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431052)

With the exception of connecting (and this has always been the case for people not associated with an organization paying for them) the Internet is still free. The only time I whip out my CC is when I am buying some consumer good/service - but then again, I would do that anyhow without the Internet.

The Internet is still very much free.

Re:The free internet is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12431037)

I'd post a long witty reply, but you can't afford my rates.

Re:The free internet is dead (2, Insightful)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431165)

First we all whine about obtrusive ads 'invading' our surf-experience.

Once we finally blocked them all out, and thus taken away one of the more important reasons a website can deliver content for free, we whine again when they are starting to charge money.

I myself am quite happy with searching for free sources, taking the (imo, not too obtrusive) ads for granted.

Now you did it.... (0, Offtopic)

ed_the_sock (879132) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431166)

So when is slashdot going to start charging a fee?

Announcing New Slashdot pricing for select postings:

  • FP $1,200 - judging by how popular it is it should be a real cash cow
  • beowolf cluster posts $1,000 - good for some major coinage.
  • Welcoming overlords $800 - always one with every article.
  • I'll build my own with blackjack and hookers! $500 - coming on strong.
  • Natalie Portman and Grits $250 - a crowd fave

But remember, as always Bill Gates Sux0rs is still Free!

Re:The free internet is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12431176)

With all of these front page slashvertisements, who needs to charge a fee?

Re:The free internet is dead (0)

DrinkingIllini (842502) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431198)

Slashdot will tell you when they will start charging soon, but subscribers can beat the rush and see it early!
Should be any time now...

BugMeNot (1, Informative)

Deternal (239896) | more than 9 years ago | (#12430941)

Speaking of bugmenot, am I the only one whom the bugmenot firefox plugin doesn't work for?

Library? (2, Insightful)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 9 years ago | (#12430948)

Why should I pay? How about I just goto the library and pull out the article I am looking for in their microfilm/microfiche archive? Even small Universities have those going all the way back to the 1890's, as do most libraries.

Re:Library? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12430978)

Wow, library? I'd rather pay the fifty bucks...

Re:Library? (2, Insightful)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431101)

Libraries at Universities generally pay for those articles, the university gets this money from tuition, alumni, the gov't. So you are essentially paying for this serive anyhow (if you are getting a scholarship then that is paying for it).

But you are attending a university - most people are not currently attending a university - so this service would be more valuable to them.

As for your comments about most libraries having microfilm/fiche going back to the 1890's - well I would need numbers to believe that. While many university libraries go a ways back - local free libraries tend to not keep that kind of archive on hand.

Re:Library? (2, Insightful)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431142)

Libraries pay for those archives. You pay for the libraries with your tax dollars.

Your question should be, "Why should I pay for these services twice?"

And the answer is, you can choose to pay the source directly, or you can pay for it indirectly and put up with the inconvenience of having to go to your library and work with microfiche rather than surfing their website from the comfort of your own home. If that's worthwhile to you, then paying might be in your interest.

For most people, I suspect that it's not. I think we'll be seeing a lot of people copy-pasting the entire content of an article to their blogs in order to preserve it for purposes of personal use, review, criticism, and discussion. And then we'll see a slew of copyright lawsuits to try to quash these exercises of fair use.

The ideal solution, to my mind, would be if you could log into the NYT site from home using credentials supplied by your local public library. People without access to libraries but who do have access to the internet could still pay, or get the fresh content for free and save a copy to their local system for any "fair use" needs.

Of course, if the NYT is really only going to archive back a single year with their online content, they'll hardly continue to remain the "newspaper of record" that they've been since forever.

Your must be a Linux user. (5, Insightful)

glrotate (300695) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431199)

Why should I pay? How about I just goto the library and pull out the article

One of these people who's time is worthless. For the rest of us, spending $50 for 1 year's access is a better deal than spending an hours time going to the library for an article.

Here's my deal (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12430950)

I live in the DC area, so the Washington Post is my big local paper. I subscribe to the Sunday edition (its like $10 for 10 weeks). All I really want is the "bag o' stuff" that comes with it, full of ads, comics, Parade, etc. The rest of the paper I prefer to read online. I wish they'd give me an option of paying for the bag of stuff. I don't mind supporting them, but I don't want to create the waste of me having a physical paper I don't want to read.

So Washington Post people, if you read this, and you do because you've quoted people from Slashdot in articles, sell me the bag o' stuff by itself and you can keep the money you would've spent on printing my Sunday paper.

Re:Here's my deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12431033)

Dude I live in DC and hate all that crap, you can have mine! ;)

Re:Here's my deal (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431086)

I'm in the same area as you. I agree with you on that. Seems like the only thing I read from them is the Sunday Comics and the computer store adds. Seeing as this is how they make their money, I wonder why they won't do just that?

I would like all my news in one place, yes, (1)

awfar (211405) | more than 9 years ago | (#12430951)

but does the world work like that any longer? I mean, domain experts and reporters all in one place? under one roof, under one set of political control, beliefs, and political slant? Spewing News at you through their brand of trumpet?

Or, is News ala Carte from here on out and they just have not fell over yet? (despite the WWJ success; people look for familiar, for the short term.)

WSJ (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12430974)

If you haven't read the WSJ on a regular basis, you don't realize what you're missing. I had a microeconomics professor require us to subscribe and read it daily, and I must say I was better informed about things that I had ever been in my life. It beats radio, television and most other newspapers by huge margins.

Also, the problem with self-selecting news it that you risk becoming ignorant and closed to things you don't already have an interest in.

Re:WSJ (1)

brontus3927 (865730) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431228)

The WSJ is a great publication. A free copy has been one of the perks of the last 2 jobs I've worked. And that perk is one of the reasons I chose those jobs over others

And online advertising is on the rise (4, Insightful)

grqb (410789) | more than 9 years ago | (#12430953)

All these subscriptions at the same time as online advertising is on the rise...or at least so the Economist says it is [economist.com] . Advertising revenues by Google and Yahoo are predicted to rival the combined prime-time ad revenues of America's three big television networks, ABC, CBS and NBC. And the NY Times uses google ads, so if google ads are making cash, then the NY Times is also probably making cash from those google ads...I guess just not enough. Nothing's ever enough though.

This could be a chance... (3, Interesting)

goldspider (445116) | more than 9 years ago | (#12430954)

...for them to get it right.

First of all, the $2.95 per article is nuts. That plan should be DOA.

Now think of how much it costs them to print millions of pages of dead-tree copies of their newspaper. There is enormous potential for the NYT to cut costs by switching (not entirely, of course) to a web/subscription content delivery model. Not to mention the positive effect such a move would have on the environment.

For a 'progressive' press mogul like the NYT, a leaner, greener newspaper makes sense.

Re:This could be a chance... (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431196)

There is enormous potential for the NYT to cut costs by switching (not entirely, of course) to a web/subscription content delivery model.

Some newspapers have already done this. Few problems, however. First, some charge more for the online edition than the print edition. Second, it takes time to download and find what you want. Plus, some don't let you download and 'keep' the paper (like you can be clipping out an article). Third, Bandwidth costs may actually be higher than the printing costs.

One more thing, btw, newspapers use a large content of recycled paper. They probably save many more trees using that than they kill.

Google micropayment system (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12430956)

The best way to do this is via a google (or microsoft) micropayment system. Sort of like millicent .. except it's not as intrusive and is integrated with google desktop and internet explorer. Instead of having to fill out a form and address everytime .. a user can have a monthly limit of $25 (this limit can be by the broker themselves since they dont want to be over liable .. they can also restrict that companies or individuals cant get paid more than a certain amount from any one individual .. other anti fraud schemes will also be needed) .. anyway .. the point is that with a IE or google desktop integrated micropayment system .. it should be possible for individuals to sell music, tv shows, movies and other stuff. There needs to be an Open DRM standard though .. or musicians won't play along. Maybe the standard can be haxx0red or whatever .. thats inevitable .. but the casual/easy copying has to be made difficult in order to encourage people to actually reward the artists of songs or tv programs they like.

Idiots (4, Interesting)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 9 years ago | (#12430957)

These guys are dumber than dirt.

Why charge at all for outdated content? Don't they remember the old journalistic saying that today's news is tomorrow's fishwrap?

Put the archives up for free -- that way people will link into them and pump up the Times' search-engine juice. Then sell context sensitive advertising on the old stories a la Google AdWords. Hell, the Times has an entire ad staff -- they could come up with their own contextual-ads program, cut out Google, and keep all the money for themselves. And advertisers would pay a pretty penny to get placed -- you don't think a spot on a NYT story about bicycles, say, would be attractive to a bicycle manufacturer? Especially if that story wasn't behind a paywall, so it got enough Google-juice to get pumped up to the first page of search results for "bicycles"?

I bet they'd make an order of magnitude more money that way than they ever would off selling subscriptions to the archives...

Re:Idiots (1)

jessmeister (225593) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431054)

Now thats brilliant. Instead of closing up the information make it available to the masses. Kind of like the long tail of newspapers.

You're definitely right though. The advertising potential would be phenomenal. And the cost of hardware being what it is hosting wouldnt be that outrageous. The big question is, will NYTd realize this? Who knows eh.

Re:Idiots (3, Insightful)

Evil Adrian (253301) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431098)

Why charge at all for outdated content? Don't they remember the old journalistic saying that today's news is tomorrow's fishwrap?

If people are accessing it...

LexisNexis makes a fortune charging for access to their gigantic database of outdated content... why shouldn't NYT try to get a piece of the pie?

Re:Idiots (2, Insightful)

telbij (465356) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431144)

Why charge at all for outdated content? Don't they remember the old journalistic saying that today's news is tomorrow's fishwrap?

You've got a good idea there, but you have to remember that these guys are scared shitless of losing their revenue streams. As the print subscriptions (and advertising revenue) inevitably decline, they want something familiar to be in control off. They already do web advertising, so the actual quantities they could increase their google juice and web revenue is a big scary question mark in their eyes.

I think there's definite wisdom they could take from your idea though... lose the stupid registration and bump free access to two weeks or a month to increase linkage. For older content they should continue to offer the $2.95 per article as well as several subscription choices. $50/yr for 100 articles or $20/month for unlimited access seem like the best choices. The $50/yr for access only to one year's worth of articles seems lame to me, but maybe some people need that kind of reasearching ability?

Re:Idiots (3, Interesting)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431148)

that way people will link into them and pump up the Times' search-engine juice.

You meant to say "pump up the Times' bandwidth costs" right?

But you had it right with regards to advertisements - which according to the Times (I had a tour there two years ago) most of their revenue is ad generated not subscriber generated.

But the next question to ask - would you adblock those ads saying how "evil it is to post those ads on my screen. Things should be free, and this advertising is pushing stuff on my computer. Why are they not paying me for my bandwidth." I seem to recall a few posters like this within the past week.

Re:Idiots (2, Interesting)

DoorFrame (22108) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431149)

I bet they'd make an order of magnitude more money that way than they ever would off selling subscriptions to the archives...

Well, the Wall Street Journal is making tens of millions (up to possibly $55 million if none of their online users also buy the paper version) with their archive. I'll assume that the NYT people would like to make something similar. Do you really think that context-based ads on old newspaper stories can match $55 million per year? It's a big chunk of income.

Also keep in mind that if they allowed unlimited searching they'd have to pay for increased bandwidth and computer resources to manage it. They'd also have to hire more ad people to work the new advertising system... although I suppose that could be offset by the cost of setting up the pay-per-year system, if they don't already have a viable way of doing it built in.

Circuit Cellar (4, Insightful)

dfn5 (524972) | more than 9 years ago | (#12430966)

I pay for a subscription to Circuit Cellar online and every month I get to download a PDF of the actual magazine. I wish every publication would do this as it is very convenient and doesn't clutter up my house.

grrr... (1)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 9 years ago | (#12430968)

from the frog-boiling dept. You got that right! This is making me hopping mad!

Internet Adversising (2, Insightful)

Acoustic (875187) | more than 9 years ago | (#12430983)

What does this imply about internet advertising? Do paid subscribers also get ads along with the online content? This seems like another indication that on-line ads may not pay out.

Re:Internet Adversising (2, Funny)

Jim_Callahan (831353) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431099)

Well, to be fair, I buy my paper papers with real quarters, and I still see ads. Luckily, no popups, yet.

Reasonable (4, Insightful)

mattmentecky (799199) | more than 9 years ago | (#12430992)

I see this as completely reasonable.

I feel like news outlets almost have a civic responsibility to have (at least some level of) news for free for the masses just for the sake of keeping various entities "in check" --mainly government and business.

However, at some point news at a week old isnt "news" anymore. Think about the majority of the types of people that need archived news articles -- researchers, other news writers, authors, statisticians etc. In my opinion these type of people who work for other companies or work for other interests and whose existence piggybacks at least a little bit on news articles that are archived should pay their fair share. I don't see too many private citizen's need to access archieved news.

Also, one should view this as a exponential growing cost of bandwidth and storage space for archived articles (especially for the NYTimes with a hundred years of history and the sheer amount of content that they have) not necessarily as a main revenue stream for breaking news.
But thats just my $0.02

Access to information (4, Interesting)

sellin'papes (875203) | more than 9 years ago | (#12430994)

The trend with the New York Times is to charge as much money for access to their information that they can get. It is even expensive to get access to the archives now.

This is worrying because the NYT is considered one of the 'most reputable' newspapers in the world. For example: I do a bit of work for The Center for Cooperative Research [cooperativeresearch.org] . This is an open source website that is designed to create timelines about US politics by following news stories. To make the timelines as 'legitimate' as possible, we are encouraged to use NYT articles. Now that public access is restricted, it is making it more difficult for this open source project to continue with broad 'legitimacy'.

If legitimacy has value.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12431141)

Why aren't people willing to pay for something that has value? And if the NYT is not worth the money, then why complain? The only mistake that online news sources have made is in giving away their stuff for free in the first place -- it conditioned people to think they should get something of value for free.

free internet (0)

chrisranjana.com (630682) | more than 9 years ago | (#12430998)

hmmm yes nothing is free anymore

49.99? (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 9 years ago | (#12430999)

Screw that, 9.99 or even 19.99 might be feasable. But for 49.99 I could get a lot of things. And current news via the ineternet isn't that hard to find without the NYT.

Re:49.99? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12431027)

And current news via the ineternet isn't that hard to find without the NYT.

Current news is not the issue at hand. Please try to keep up.

Free for NYC residents (4, Informative)

jayrtfm (148260) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431008)

If you have a NYC public library card you can access the past year for free via NYPL.org [nypl.org]

Google Cache to the rescue... (3, Informative)

mr. mulder (204001) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431009)

I'll just search Google News and then reference the cache.

Re:Google Cache to the rescue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12431132)

Google Cache is awesome, I had a professor that would give a written mid-term, then put the answers up on his page after we had taken it. He would take it down at the end of the semester. He did this every year, and it was the same test every year...

You have to love Google Cache

Only go back one year? (2, Insightful)

no_barcode (840948) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431012)

"...$49.99 for unlimited access to anything in the last year"

I would be a bit more inclined to pay for a news service, if I had access to an archive that could go back a little further than a year.

Wondering... (2, Insightful)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431022)

But wouldn't the past articles be avaliable at your local library for free? I mean, if you really wanted to read NYT and do not have the additional means, going to your good old library is a possible solution. I think I remember what they look like...lots of books, newspaper organizers.....

Why pay for inacccurate, biased news? (-1, Flamebait)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431034)

There was once a time when The New York Times carried the ring of Absolute Objective Truth. That day is long passed.

Not a day goes by that bloggers don't uncover factual errors in the NYT, and the Times longstanding liberal bias has only become more pronounced over the last four years. The fact that even their theater, architecture and fasion critics feel a need to insert left-wing commentary into their pieces tells you how pervasive liberal bias at the times has become. Even the occasional good story they do must be considered inaccurate and biased until proven otherwise.

20 years ago my roommate and I had a subscription to the The New York Times, even though we lived in Texas, because the local paper was so bad. Today, I seldom bother to read a NYT article for free unless someone sends me a link; I'm certainly not going to pay for it. Why should I, when I have hundreds of papers willing to supply me online news for free? [google.com]

Re:Why pay for inacccurate, biased news? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12431063)

On the front page it states "All the news thats fit to print" = "You are a moron and we will decide what news you need to read"

the amounts quoted seem rather steep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12431046)

To a resident of the UK the amounts quoted seem rather on the steep side. There are plenty of examples of high volume UK sites that make a profitable existance based on advertising revenue and content that elicits donations from its readership.
eg http://www.dontstayin.com/uk/london/pacha/2005/mar /26/photo-270877 [dontstayin.com]

btw is the nyt considered to be an impartial news provider or are they aligned with a political party?

I'd consider this. (1)

elhondo (545224) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431051)

I subscribe to the WSJ online, and have for a while. I usually read the WashPost online, but since you can't pay for the online content, I still get a dead tree version. I pay around 28/month to get it delivered. I still like the dead tree version (of the Post), but I read a lot more of the content online, and would probably go strictly online, if they had a subscription model. And I do know that I can get the Journal free by swiping a copy from the mail room, and I only have to go to Starbucks to get a free used copy of the Post that someone left lying around, but it's a resource that I value, and I'm willing to support it if I can.

Other Options (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12431055)

For NYT there's also the option of using NewsStand - http://www.newsstand.com./ [www.newsstand.com] It's a digital subscription service that, for the same price as the print edition, you get a flash based duplication of the printed paper on the net. It's pretty nifty actually. The zoom ability is pretty cool. If anything, I think it's better than paying to subscribe to an html only version.

And we should care? (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431068)

In other news: Bob, local postman and fishing buff, will be stopping by the Piggly-Wiggly at 4pm EST to pick up milk. He will procede immediately home. Rumors that Bob would be at Pop's Tavern were quickly denounced by Bob. He assures us he will indeed be purchasing milk and then going home. Back to you in the studio, Jane!

Whatever happened to micropayments? (2, Insightful)

Shaper_pmp (825142) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431074)

This seem like a giant leap backward to me. Everything I've ever read seems to suggest that micropayments are the way forward (pay for what you use - hell, I'd certainly like it), and here the NYT are moving to a less granular pricing model.

Subscriptions are stupid, because unless you're going to use $50/year you aren't going to bother taking out a subscription, and will instead go elsewhere. Subscriptions force you to make a choice: am I "A NYT Subscriber" or not? If I'm just dropping by the NYT site (eg, from a random newsblog link), I'm not going to fork out a $50.00 subscription to view a single article. Could I view that same single article for, say, $0.25, I'd happily pay it.

Affordable (and truly micro) micropayments allow you to use what you want, when you want, so you can "impulse-buy" information however you want. Subscriptions force you to enter into a long-term commitment, and as such will be avoided liek the plague by everyone apart from those who likely *already* have a NYT subscription (a much smaller subset of users).

Ok, $3.00 per article is hardly micropayments, but if I were NYT I'd be looking to move towards MPs, rather than away from them. It does look like they're confusing "overpricing their content" with "the failure of their whole approach".

They already have subscriptions, of a sort. (2, Informative)

Caractacus Potts (74726) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431079)

The numbers are in the right ballpark. I pay $35/yr to get access to all of their current and archived crosswords and puzzles. I have no problem paying this amount since I consider it to be of value to me. If you don't consider their week-old online content to be worth X dollars, don't pay them X dollars.

As the NYT looses relevance (1)

Cheech Wizard (698728) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431081)

As the NYT continues not only to loose relevance because of bad reporting, they want to start charging? Oh, my. How fast does the NYT want to fade into oblivion.

I no longer visit the NYT site because I don't like registering to read the news. I get news from many sites. Some 'mirror' NYT articles. That said, to me the NYT has already reached a point of irrelevance to me. So - Let them charge away. In 10 years (or less) we'll see if their business model is successful or not.

They're forgeting the google factor... (5, Insightful)

racecarj (703239) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431113)

With the NYTimes vast news archive they have the potential to be one of the best sources of past and current news via google.

Remember, google is based on linking. Right now, no one links to the NYTimes unless it's today's article. If they allowed free access to their entire past archive, people would be posting links all the time (ex, an anti-Bush site would have a series of links about him from the past few years). This would translate into advertising revenue for the Times and more internet clout in general.

The way they've set it up now, this doesn't exist. And I don't believe there is a big market for paying for old news (not that big anyway). Students and researchers use libraries, people at home use Wikipedia or whatever.

The NYTimes should be working to be THE information news resource of world events.

who is stupid? (2, Insightful)

macpeep (36699) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431121)

Here Finland, we have a saying:

It's not the person who asks who is stupid. It's the person who pays.

It's still backwards (5, Interesting)

TechnicalPenguin (723245) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431123)

In the offline world, newspapers and magazines charge for the current issues while the archives are freely available through libraries. Why should it be reversed in the online world?

It's completely backwards to make the current week free and the archives Pay-per-view or subscription-only. It makes much more sense to charge a subscription to the current news (whether to access the current day, the current week, or the current month), and make the older stuff freely available. First of all, there's a lot more people interested in today's news than in last year's news, meaning revenues would be higher. (That means more money for the low IQers in the audience.) It fits in line with the offline business model. It meets the customer's expectations better. And it makes the whole site more Internet-friendly.

Frankly, I don't understand why more sites don't follow that plan. Charge for access to the current week (the most valuable content on your site on any given day) and, after that, let the bloggers and everyone else have at it for free.

The New York Times (0, Troll)

SengirV (203400) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431130)

All the fake news that fit to print.

Something Awful (1)

unborracho (108756) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431131)

http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/05/02/22 15203&tid=98&tid=95&tid=17 [slashdot.org]

Once again, something that Something Awful [somethingawful.com] (at least their forum archives) has already been doing. Nothing new here.

I'm New Here (1)

New Here (701369) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431181)

I'm New Here

Archive it By Yourself (2, Informative)

Future Linux-Guru (34181) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431151)

Whenever I see an article that grabs my interest, I print make a PDF copy of it, and then later on I send it to my gmail account with meaning description in the subject line.

Not perfect, but perfectly workable for most.

Busking (2, Insightful)

el_womble (779715) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431163)

It strikes me that the internet is like street performance. You make a noise. If people like the noise you should provide a simple system for people to provide a small sum of money.

Surely this is the business model that should be adopted by the arts on the internet. People already earn a living busking, and thats just performing on a busy high street, with the internet there is the potential to busk to the world.

Accountants may hate this model, but with the huge variety of GDPs and age ranges that have access to the internet it appears the fairest

Just to be clear Busking is an English word for street performer (not sure if our American friends use it).

Is it greed or a bad sign for western economy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12431174)

Technology should allow people to get more for less. When fees are applied to once free services while constant technology improvements should lower their prices, this might be a sign that there's something wrong with the direction the western economy is going to.

not a chance (1)

monkeybrainz (823425) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431175)

i wouldn't give the NYT a dime until they drop charges against Adrian Lamo [wired.com]

Why pay when you get it free (2, Funny)

rlp (11898) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431187)

Why would I pay for any NY Times news story when I can get the same story direct from the source [democrats.org] for free.

Re:Why pay when you get it free (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12431235)

Absolutely correct. They are just the publishing division of the Democrat Party.

"Instead"? Stupid. (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431195)

The problem is they want a single subscription option, which is wrong. I'm not going to pay $50 for a single article I wanted to read but missed. I won't pay $2.50/article if I'm performing a summary research, requiring me to analyse 5000 different articles. Maybe a year back is not enough for me? Maybe it's way too much, as I want to make some monthly digests?

A good range of options is a reasonable choice. Another reasonable choice is "pay per kilobyte" with bulk discounts. A single $50/unlimited access option won't attract too many customers.

Pay for fiction? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12431211)

Why would I want to pay to read stories made up by NYT's reporters? That, plus the paper's obvious leftist tilt, makes it a worthless rag.

There are too many news sites that are reliable, unbiased, and free to even give a second thought to the NYT and their garbage.

Nothing older than old news... (1)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431230)

So, will the NYT also charge fishmongers selling their wares in old newspaper?

Learn from Porn (1)

ThatsNotFunny (775189) | more than 9 years ago | (#12431234)

If I can find porn passwords online, I think it would be fairly easy to find some NYT passwords once they do this. Then it's just a matter of hoping they don't enlist the services of Pennywise Online.

(Pre-verts like me will get that Pennywise reference... ;)

Why pay for lies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12431236)

Considering all the scandels the NYT has with its writers making up sotries, they should be happy anyone reads their crap for free. Fuck big media.
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