Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Would it be rubbing it? But I just can't resist!

See! Pay walls work, they are the new model!

OK, I'll control myself. But, really, this story is just too funny:

In late October, Newsday, the Long Island daily that the Dolans bought for $650 million, put its web site, newsday.com, behind a pay wall . . . So, three months later, how many people have signed up to pay $5 a week, or $260 a year, to get unfettered access to newsday.com?  The answer: 35 people. As in fewer than three dozen. As in a decent-sized elementary-school class.

What does this prove? Nothing actually. I am not totally against the idea of pay walls, but am still a skeptic. I can see where a paper as strong and valuable as the New York Times could launch a limited pay wall and get away with it, but can you put up a paywall on newsday.com and expect to rake it in? Of course not.

My only question is this: who are these 35 people? do they feel a little ripped off? are they all named Dolan?