It looks like the New York Times won’t have free, unlimited access to daily articles much longer. The site plans to organize a pay wall that will block off access to further articles after reading a yet specified number of pieces a month. What’s the cause of this? Apparently we can blame our good ‘ol economy for backing one of the biggest US publications into a wall.
The company seeks a way to offset industry-wide losses in print advertising revenue, declines that have been exacerbated by the Great Recession that began in 2008. Ad revenue declines last year were not as steep as in 2009, but against what should have been easy comparisons, ad sales might have been expected to move into positive territory.
New York Times Co. has said that the metered pay model will allow it to keep enough of a free presence to be seen in Google searches, which are now one of the most important ways for any publication to stay relevant on the Web. [Market Watch]
Monetizing articles on NYTimes.com isn’t new for the company. The publication already lets subscribers access its archives. However it’s nigh impossible these days to expect people to pay for online content that used to be free. I read a handful of NYT articles a month at most. It won’t affect me much unless the cap is extremely low. That’s obviously not the case for regular visitors who may enjoy lengthy feature pieces on M.I.A.’s alleged hypocrisies or why Gen Y is ass-backwards according to older heads. So now’s the time to read up if you’re a NYT diehard not trying to pay for formerly gratis stories: especially without added incentives.