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Friday, January 22, 2010

New York Times Online Set to Charge

The New York Times will begin charging for access to its online content in 2011. The newspaper is adopting a "paywall" system, allowing readers free access to a certain number of articles before charging them for more. This is the same system Rupert Murdoch's news sites are to use. Murdoch's News Corporation includes the Times' competitor, The New York Post. Murdoch made headlines a few months back when he threatened to "hide" his news sites from Google, whom he has frequently accused of stealing content.

I am registered at NYT and have been since the 1990s - in fact, I had a subscription to the paper for a year or so back then. The site sold subscriptions from 2005 to 2007, but concluded it would make more money from advertising revenue. The paper is struggling to make a profit now; the paper's advertising revenue dropped 30% within the last year and its owner, the New York Times Company, posted a $35.6m loss in Q3, 2009.

However, the New York Times website racked-up an impressive 16 million unique hits monthly as of November, 2009. The company is hoping the paywall system allows them to turn a profit from heavy users without running-off casual visitors.

© C Harris Lynn, 2010

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