Sunday, March 06, 2011

Making them Earn It

The NY Times is going for the dough with an online pay model, details to be coming soon according to this report:

During a New York Press Club Q&A session at CUNY's Graduate School of Journalism, a man who identified himself as a retired reporter named Ken wanted to know why he should keep paying to receive the Grey Lady in hard copy.

"I subscribe to home delivery, but I get the next day's paper around 11:30 p.m. on the Internet," explained Ken, an older gentleman with a deep drawl. "The depth of the online edition is so vast," he said--and "the thinness of the print edition is so noticeable" as to be useless.

Keller clearly hadn't anticipated the question. "Um," he paused at the outset of his reply. "I'm not gonna argue that you should pay for something that you don't find useful. . . . I still personally like the print edition of the paper." For instance, "I like that I can read it on the subway," Keller continued. "I like that I can share it around the breakfast table. I like lying back in bed reading the newspaper better than I like lying back in bed reading the website on my iPad. ... But look, if you don't find that it's worth the money, I'm not gonna argue that you should donate to the New York Times as an act of charity."

Ken will soon be getting more bang for his buck. As a print subscriber, he won't be impacted when the Times moves forward with its long-delayed plans for erecting a metered paywall around its online content. Habitual online readers who don't buy the paper in print, however, will have to start paying for monthly access to New York Times Co. chief executive Janet Robinson announced earlier this week that the set-up for the new online model is in its "final testing phase," and that "We expect it will launch shortly."

But "Will it be worth it?," is the bigger question. 

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