New York Times – Goodbye

So the Times is thinking about charging for content again.  The point at which they do that will be the point at which I stop reading it online. The Wall Street Journal went to a pay system a couple months ago and I promptly yanked it off my iPhone and stopped reading it online. I believe that readers will flow to free sites and ignore paid ones. I will read the BBC, other British papers, or the Moscow Times before I will pay to read any paper online. There will always be a free stream of news out there in our age, and that’s where readers will go. This is just another error from the Times, one that they will probably undo (again) in a year or so.

8 thoughts on “New York Times – Goodbye”

  1. I think you’re right that people will keep flowing to the free sites. There’s just too much information out there to expect that anyone will pay for one site’s news, even the NYT, when the information is all out there.

    Here’s a question, though: Do you think that there’s an economic model that will continue to support the information gatherers (esp. reporters) when there isn’t money coming in from readers?

  2. Scott, I don’t know what that model would be. We are in a time of transition for the media and who knows where it will end up? I think when Apple rolls out the iSlate this month we’ll get a glimpse of what the future may look like.

    1. Now that the iPad is out, do you have any thoughts on the future of media?

      I’m one of those weird people who gets a print newspaper, the Chicago Tribune (tragically slimmed down for the past year or so). I like it for a couple of reasons: it’s a ready-made and professionally-selected package that can at least get me the basics without having to hunt around too much and a family member is a copy-editor for a media group in another part of the country, so I want to support print media. He says that there are models out there, but nothing has emerged as the new one yet.

      1. I get the WS Journal, but I feel like it’s a waste of my time to read it. Most of the articles I read I already know about anyway because of constant online news. I only read it out a sense of guilt.

        I think the iPad and devices like it will be what we read news and magazines on in the future. What I don’t know is if enough people will pay for it or not. I might subscribe to the NY Times on the iPad, or the WS Journal, but I am a dork who has been reading papers since I was a little kid. And most of the stuff I read is free anyway – New Republic, New Yorker, Front Porch Republic, Drudge, etc. I might pay for magazine subscriptions on the iPad, First Things or Chronicles if they are available.

        But I still think that the amount of free content swamps the need to pay for something, unless there is a real quality proposition that cannot be had without paying for it. Maybe there will be such a proposition, but I’m not sure.

  3. Ouch for the WSJ. Is it guilt that you’re paying for it, so you might as well read it?

    Actually, I could probably describe a lot of my continued subscription to the Tribune in the same way. It’s not terrible, but it’s really diminished.

    1. I just feel like if I get it, I am wasting it to not read it. It’s all in my mind. I wish I could stop! I don’t actually pay for it, it’s part of some dumb credit card points thing that we had to cash in.

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