… and promptly shoots foot.
Back when I used a browser with a “home page” the New York Times website was that starting block. The Old Grey Lady offered a nice slice of news across a huge swath of topics. On the heels of Rupert Murdoch announcing taking all his products behind a paywall by the middle of this year, the NYT is going on a limited free use model that will take its content behind a paywall for all except the most casual reader going into effect a year from now.
There’s no decent answer for content on the internet, but this move will absolutely kill the NYT’s traffic. I pay for Wall Street Journal content and have for years as a business expense. In this market I can’t afford another online subscription, so the result will be I’ll no longer use the NYT for linking or for getting a pulse of the day’s news. I’m betting I won’t be alone in that decision.
From the first link:
Starting in January 2011, a visitor to NYTimes.com will be allowed to view a certain number of articles free each month; to read more, the reader must pay a flat fee for unlimited access. Subscribers to the print newspaper, even those who subscribe only to the Sunday paper, will receive full access to the site without any additional charge.
Executives of The New York Times Company said they wanted to create a system that would have little effect on the millions of occasional visitors to the site, while trying to cash in on the loyalty of more devoted readers. But fundamental features of the plan have not yet been decided, including how much the paper will charge for online subscriptions or how many articles a reader will be allowed to see without paying.