Paywall not keeping readers from New York Times websitePosted: January 27, 2012
by CHARLES HICKS
The online readership of The New York Times has remained steady since the implementation of a paywall on the publication’s website last March. When the announcement of the paywall was made, it was a new approach to online readership, and many critics were skeptical as to whether asking readers to pay for online content would work. *cough* Jimmy Wales. *cough* Arianna Huffington. Looks like they might be eating their words.
This is further fodder for the fire of selling news-for-profit, an obvious idea that was employed for over 150 years until the Great Mysterious Internet Monster convinced journalism companies to give away, or even pay for, their product to get in the hands of the consumer. Until the past two or three years, no journalism company could hold a candle to The Monster, but in the depths of Manhattan, a sword has been forged in the form of the paywall. Sure the sword looked good on paper, but the question was, “Does this thing work?”
The answer isn’t “yes” yet, but now that The New York Times has shown readers are willing to pay for quality, it is leaning more in that direction. We are seeing other advances in institutions accepting the notion of a paywall. The 2nd Paywall Strategies conference is being held next month in London to discuss digital product development, pricing models for online content, and monetizing customers not content.
Are y’all comfortable with the idea of a paywall, or is there a better way to solve the dot-com bust of journalism?