NY Times Launches Digital Subscriptions

In attempt to salvage lost revenues from online advertising, The New York Times began its digital subscriptions Monday, March 28, for full access to its website and mobile service content.

According to the Associated Press, the third-largest U.S. newspaper will now charge $15 every month, or $195 annually to read more than 20 articles a month on its website.

The current print subscribers will continue to have free access to all articles on the Web and the home page and all section fronts will remain free to browse at all times.

There are also ways to get around the subscription. Readers coming through search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing, will have five free articles per search service per day. So if one does hit its 20 free articles, it can always start with one of the hundreds of search engines out there.

In a letter to its readers, NYT publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., wrote that the launching of the digital subscriptions will, “help ensure that we can continue to provide you with the high-quality journalism and substantive analysis that you have come to expect from The Times.”

It is unclear now how the public will react to The Times’ decision. Many people today, especially in the U.S., feel that access to fair and accurate news should be free.

Arianna Huffington made it clear that she thought that online news should be free, as she made The Times the butt of her April fool’s joke. In her blog post, Huffington joked that Times employees may, “choose to subscribe to see the rest of each word individually, or choose a package to access all words of more than six letters.”

So how do you feel this will all pan out for The Times? Will readers look to other sources of news once they hit the 20-article limit? Will search engines find an increase of news related searches?

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7 Responses to NY Times Launches Digital Subscriptions

  1. amgraha2 says:

    I think The New York Times is on its deathbed. Charging for online news will not result in a promising future. I think customers (those who use the Internet to read their news) will find other ways to get their news if the NYT begins to charge. If you can find it for free, why pay? Also, if people think they deserve access to free news, then inevitably that’s the way news will be provided.

  2. tgierba says:

    I don’t think print media will ever die, but I think charging for online information will do more harm than good to the NYT. Think about it like this, do you have a loyalty to a certain paper? I have a loyalty to NYT, partly because since I started my journalism career, it was free at school, and I grew to love the writing and how it reports. But if my school switched to say, the AZ Republic, then I would read that. I don’t think that there are enough die-hard fans for any publication to follow them though the extension of subscription costs. People will always go for free information first, and if there is no free information, they will go for the cheapest, not the one they were loyal to.

  3. mgingeri says:

    I understand why many people feel this way, but for the sake of quality print journalism, I am crossing my fingers that the Times will prevail. I guess only time will tell…

  4. spaeprer says:

    I think that because the NYT is one of, if not the most respected and reputable news sources, there is some method to this madness. As an avid NY Times reader, online, in print and on my iPad, I think that dedicated customers will sacrifice the subscription fee but I think that seldom and sporadic viewers will go elsewhere, because they can and because it will be free.

  5. nkumarat says:

    I think the NYT has loyal readers who will continue to pay for a subscription even though there are free news sources on the Internet. For example, Pandora offers free music, but you can only listen to a certain number of free hours per month, and if you exceed the amount you will have to pay and upgrade to Pandora One for unlimited access to online music. I know when I exceed the free amount, I just wait until the next month starts. Why pay for a service I get for free? I think this concept also applies to NYT. I think that people will turn to the Times and read as many free stories they can, but will look to other online news sources. I think a paywall is a good idea to make money that is lost in advertising, but there will be people who will only go for free things.

  6. mgingeri says:

    I agree with you on that, many people will always want free news but there are also people who respect the credibility of the NYT and will become online subscribers.

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