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NYTimes.com is considering offering its archives via subscription, according to a report tonight from the Online Journal. The Times’ hunt fo…

NYTimes.com is considering offering its archives via subscription, according to a report tonight from the Online Journal. The Times’ hunt for additional online revenue is nothing new; ditto for paid subscriptions for premium content. That was part of the discussion I had with Martin Nisenholtz earlier this year. This time, some registered users are being asked how they would respond to the chance to subscribe to the archives. The two options are priced at $49.95 annually:
— one would provide access to all articles published in the 12 months prior to the subscription
– the other would provide a monthly 100 articles from as far back as the 1850s.
Unlike the Journal and most others, the Times already offers bulk packs beyond the $2.95 single article; they range in price from 4 for $1.99 each to 25 for $1.05 each. The expiration time varies.
OJR editor Robert Niles tells the Journal it would “radically” change online newspaper archive pricing.
Of course, surveys aren’t announcements and this would be a tricky move for the Times to pull off for a couple of reasons:
– the archives are split into 1996-present and 1851-1995 with the older stories coming from an outside vendor.
– The Times runs the risk of charging too little for bulk use and cannibalizing its current archive sales.
With that in mind, don’t bet that these are the only ideas and look for the subscription option that keeps the door open widest for additional sales. On the other hand, subscription income can come in mighty handy.

Related:

Exclusive Audio: Interview with Martin Nisenholtz, SVP-Digital Operations, NYTCO

Exclusive Audio: Part II: Interview with Martin Nisenholtz, SVP-Digital Operations, NYTCO

The NYTimes.com Survey: Part II

The NYTimes.com Survey

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