Saturday, May 15, 2010

New York Times editor in chief: How I plan to charge for online content

SHOOT: Intwisting. Well I'm sure all the bloggers out there welcome the news that media companies plan to charge for access to their exceptional journalism. But here's an idea. When these companies are charging for online content, what it stopping bloggers from going out, buying the newspapers, and summarising these stories on their own sites, for free, in their own words?
clipped from

The New York Times’ slow-cooked plan to charge some readers for some of its online content will be put into place in January of next year, editor in chief Bill Keller told other journos at a dinner in New York on Thursday night.

The Times’ previous attempt to charge for content, TimesSelect, was canceled later that year because too few subscribers had signed up for what was basically a premium content package. Most TimesSelect content was what newspaper editors categorize as commentary or opinion, rather than news reporting. People were uninterested in paying an extra $50 per year to read the Times’ columnists.

Chances are Keller and company are still trying to calculate exactly how much to give away, and how much to charge for greater access. Without those numbers, the only safe prediction is that they won’t start with a high bar to access. Better to start with a lenient setting that blocks few readers, then ratchet it up to see what the market will bear.

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