You already have to register to read it, but now the New York Times wants more than your personal details – they want your credit card number.
From March 28 the Times is introducing a paywall on its stories online and on phones and tablets. You’ll have to cough up $15 per month for access to the website and a mobile phone app, $20 for Web access and an iPad app, and $35 for everything.
But it’s a porous wall (unlike the UK Times) so there are ways to keep reading the NYT without handing over your hard-earned pennies and cents..
Here they are:
1) Loophole one: You’re allowed to read 20 stories a month – pick them well
2) Loophole two: You will still be able to access stories that have been shared via Facebook, Twitter, and Google. – take full advantage of shared stories.
3) Why not – Get an RSS feed from the NYT on Google Reader – though be aware they have capped reads from Google at 5 day. Still – that’s more than twenty a month, it’s 150 as a matter of fact. And you can check out which story looks interesting before you click on it.
4) Get a friend with a subscription to post all the best ones up on Twitter.
5) Read the Guardian online instead. It has reached that stage.
Motivation behind the wall
The New York Times was one of the first to launch a website and it has become – after the BBC – the most popular English-language news sites in the world, they have 30 million viewers a month. The rationale behind the paywall is simple: it’s financial. Print revenues have tumbled and while online income has grown it just doesn’t match the lost revenue from the golden days of the 90s…
In their article explaining the decision, the NYT quote Ken Doctor, an author who studies the newspaper business – .
“This is practically a do-or-die year. The financial pressures on newspapers is steady or increasing. They’re in an industry that is still receding. Newspapers are trying to pay down their debt, but they have fewer resources to do it. They’re very cash-flow constricted.”
The NYT added:
“The fragile condition of the industry has left newspapers with few other choices. Even as other media have recovered, newspapers have seen little bright side from the end of the recession.”
Read the NYT’s plans in full on the NYT (before it goes behind a paywall that is…)