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TimesSelect To Be Free For College Students, Faculty; NYT Teams Up With MySpace For Kristof Contest

In January ’06, NYT.com began offering its premium TimesSelect for half price to academics. It seemed like a pretty good deal at the time, yet when I did the math last August, the academic subscriptions accounted for less than 2 percent of the paying subs — about 3,800 total then. Now the site is taking a new approach: TimesSelect will be free to registered college students and faculty with an .edu email address. (More info for would-be subs here.) Current students subs will get pro-rated refunds.
The rationale, as explained by GM Vivian Schiller in the release: “We want students to have unfettered access to the full, rich content of The New York Times, especially the varied opinions expressed by the 22 columnists whose voices are heard through TimesSelect.”
(Critics of TimesSelect will see this selective free access as an admission that the NYT made a mistake by putting its columnists behind a paywall and removing its columnists from much of the ongoing discussion about important subjects.)
The announcement comes as part of the publicity for the second edition of Win a Trip With Nick; the college or grad student and one middle-or-high-school teacher who win an essay content will accompany Nick Kristof on a reporting trip to Africa.
— In another effort to expand its reach to the college set, the NYT is partnering with MySpace. The social networking site has created a “Win a trip” profile and Kristof has his own profile. The winners will blog and prepare video for TimesSelect and MySpace.
— As of January, TimesSelect had 627,000 subscribers, up from over 609,000 at the end of December; percent receiving it as a benefit of home delivery and 34 percent online only.
Related:
More On TimesSelect: Academic Discounts Account For Less than 2 Percent

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