NY Times and others to start charging website users
After several years of maintaing a free website, the New York Times, along with The Times of London and the Financial Times have decided that they will roll out online subscription plans with fees in early 2011. News Corp, which owns the Times of London have tried to start rolling out their payment plans, but have not received a good response. They began charging their users 1 pound a day, or 2 pounds a week for using the services. Consequently, their online readership dropped by almost 90 percent.
However, the New York Times has proposed a different kind of payment plan for their users that they are hoping will generate more subscribers. The plan, in which the staff has referred to as a “metered” model will only start charging users once they have accessed a certain amount of articles. The New York Times has spent a large amount of time studying and researching the metered model and is excited for its launch early next year.
I am interested to see how users will react to this change. The New York Times is one of the largest newspapers that have not already began charging their users for using their websites. However, because users will still be able to view a limited amount of articles without paying, they may be more willing to pay after they have already read some articles, rather than having to pay a dollar a day like the Times of London’s plan.
Newspapers obviously have been realizing, and it is shown in their financial statements, that many people are turning to websites rather than print newspapers in order to get their news. In order to continue generating revenue, it is imperative that newspapers charge users for accessing their websites. It will be interesting to see how newspapers will begin charging their users online if and when actual print newspapers become obsolete.