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Marketing Analy

In: Business and Management

Submitted By prao1234
Words 6923
Pages 28
The New York Times Paywall
Every newspaper in the country is paying close, close attention [to the Times paywall], wondering if they can get readers of online news to pay. Is that the future, or a desperate attempt to recreate the past?. . . Will paywalls work for newspapers?
— Tom Ashbrook, host of On Point, National Public Radio1

On March 28, 2011, The New York Times (The Times) website became a restricted site. The home page and section front pages were unrestricted, but users who exceeded the allotted “free quota” of
20 articles for a month were directed to a web page where they could purchase a digital subscription.
The paywall was launched earlier on March 17, 2011, in Canada, which served as the testing ground to detect and resolve possible problems before the global launch. The Times website had been mostly free for its entire existence, except for a few months in 2006–2007 when TimesSelect was launched. Traditional newspapers had been struggling to maintain profitability in the online medium, and they were eager to see how the public would react to the creation of a paywall at the most popular news website in the U.S.
Martin Nisenholtz, the senior vice president of Digital Operations at The Times, was optimistic about the willingness of users to pay:
I think the majority of people are honest and care about great journalism and The New York
Times. When you look at the research that we’ve done, tons of people actually say, “Jeez, we’ve felt sort of guilty getting this for free all these years. We actually want to step up and pay, because we know we’re supporting a valuable institution.2
However, many commentators, both in the blogosphere and in the traditional media, were openly critical of this approach. Michael DeGusta, a blogger, represented the critics’ view: “It’s sad that instead of competing for the future by pricing for the...

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