Times to Stop Charging for Parts of Its Web Site
The New York Times will stop charging for access to parts of its Web site, effective at midnight tonight.And why would they do that?
The move comes two years to the day after The Times began the subscription program, TimesSelect, which has charged $49.95 a year, or $7.95 a month, for online access to the work of its columnists and to the newspaper’s archives. TimesSelect has been free to print subscribers to The Times and to some students and educators.
What changed, The Times said, was that many more readers started coming to the site from search engines and links on other sites instead of coming directly to NYtimes.com. These indirect readers, unable to get access to articles behind the pay wall and less likely to pay subscription fees than the more loyal direct users, were seen as opportunities for more page views and increased advertising revenue.This was first reported about over a week ago.
“What wasn’t anticipated was the explosion in how much of our traffic would be generated by Google, by Yahoo and some others,” Ms. Schiller said.
While other online publications were abandoning subscriptions, the Times took the opposite approach in 2005 and began charging for access to well-known writers, including Maureen Dowd, Frank Rich and Thomas L. Friedman.I would imagine the ones complaining were the likes of Thomas Friedman and David Brooks. While Paul Krugman and Frank Rich's columns could always be found somewhere no one ever bothered with the moronic rantings of Tom Friedman and rarely bothered with David Brooks - and Maureen who? Yes, this may not be a good thing, the IQ of the country may have just dropped a notch.
The decision, which also walled off access to archives and other content, was controversial almost from the start, with some of the paper's own columnists complaining that it limited their Web readership.
I have to wonder if memeorandum with it's (TS) entries had an impact as well.