April 13, 2011 Leave a comment
There was an article Monday in ReadWriteWeb analyzing the traffic drop in the online version of the NYTimes in the recent two weeks after they instituted a confusing, laborious payment scheme. There’s been a lot of negative press by prominent personalities on the decision and the most recent article, while comprehensive in its analysis of dropping traffic by 5-15%, does not address the potential INCREASE in subscription revenue that is being realized. Obviously the NYT expected some sort of traffic drop – a “pay” v. “free” model is inherently exclusionary – but made the bet on a higher quality, paying consumer. And most of the negative press or blogging I’ve seen ends something like “While its the highest subscription rate for news on the Web, I hate it, but I’ll probably pay it”.
The other x-factor in all this is the proliferation of hacks and workarounds that are popping up all over the web to avoid the subscription fee.
I actually like the Times, but I’m not a subscriber, I instead consume most of my news on my iPhone through their App as well as other news sources like CNN, TechCrunch, ReadWriteWeb, numerous blog sites, CNBC and others. Using the Times App, you can still access “Top News” and “Most E-mailed” news for free, but digging deeper into Section headings will cost $3.75 per week, or $195 per year.
Not sure this price point makes sense to me personally given all the various free news sources out there, but I could see if you were a loyal Times reader where this might make sense.
What do you think?