Blog Post

The NYT "Meter" Model: Required Reading

The New York Times announced yesterday that it’s planning to launch a “metered access” system for its web site next year, in which readers will be able to see a certain number of articles for free, but after that will have to pay a monthly subscription fee (unless they’re print subscribers, in which case there is no charge). No one yet knows how many free articles a reader will get, or how much they will have to pay per month, but there has been much written about the decision to start charging. If you want to see what I think of the move, you can read my original post, and if you want to see know what readers of the New York Times think, check out the comments on this blog post. And for additional analysis on the decision, check the links below.

Jeff Jarvis: The journalism professor and author says the NYT is going to charge its most valuable customers, while not charging its least valuable ones, and this doesn’t make sense.

Rick Edmonds: Poynter Media’s business analyst says the economics of the NYT’s move actually make a lot of sense, and that the paper was right to implement some form of paid access.

Felix Salmon: Reuters’ media writer isn’t optimistic about the NYT’s chances of making metered access work, and says it is a “sad day for online journalism.”

C.W. Anderson: Journalism professor wonders how metered access and paywalls will affect the relationship that journalists have with society as a whole.

Ken Doctor: The news industry analyst answers nine questions that have been raised about the NYT paywall.

Steve Yelvington: Veteran newspaperman has a list of things we won’t learn from the NYT paywall.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user itspaulkelly.

8 Responses to “The NYT "Meter" Model: Required Reading”

  1. Brett Glass

    And how will the Times track the number of stories that users read? If they do it by IP address, it’ll backfire if the ISP has a cache or does NAT (network address translation); users will be locked out just about completely and will be upset. If it does it with cookies, folks will delete them. Big technical mess here.

  2. KISS, keep it simple stupid. NYT should follow Apple’s app concept, charge a pittance to a lot of people. NYT should start out by charging some nominal yearly fee, $5-$20, for its content to see how many will sign up. Then ratchet it up gradually. The ‘meter’ will cause too much confusion.

  3. Another interesting read from Felix Salmon:

    From where I stand there is something missing in all of these discussions:

    Google not only uses intent as a main driving force for its business, besides eyeballs.
    They also use a special form of ads.

    If we divide articles in a very crude way:

    Attention getting (getting eyeballs, short term consumers)

    Interest Groups (people with a background in the subject, long term consumers)

    Intent (product related, social activity … search related)

    Then we have Display ads,maybe targeted at different resolutions, and ads targeted for search.

    So why do producers, who have put a lot of thought into site design and writing style, put up with the same crummy display ad no matter how irrelevant to their design and writing style.

    My guess is that they only think about eyeballs.

  4. “additional analysis”?

    It’s simple, no “additional analysis” needed.

    NYT pay wall is Rupert Murdock’s last, desperate, attempt to prop up an extinct business model. That’s it.