Thursday, March 17, 2011

The New York Times digital subscription experiment: but if it succeeds will it actually prove anything?

If the New York Times succeeds in its metered paywall experiment, will it prove that metered paywalls can work? or that the New York Times is the exception to the rule?
If you accept the notion that the New York Times is an elite news sources online, it can be argued that it should be able to buck TNM's rule #1 of digital subscriptions -- which is that financial news products can charge for content, while general news products can not.

The executives at the NYT have had over a year to work out the details of their metered paywall model. In that time I can safely say that they have been trying to come up with something that will work for the New York Times, not necessarily the entire newspaper industry. What the Times produces (IMO) is quality journalism, designed and packaged by some of the best talent in the industry. Accepting that, and leaving aside any issues that one might have with the paper, one can see how a metered paywall could work, and this model might work.

But what does that mean for the Contra Costa Times, or the Duluth News Tribune, or even the Boston Globe?

More later, to be sure.