TVNewser FishbowlDC AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote PRNewser SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Why Did The New York Times Paywall Cost $40 Million?

There’s been a lot of speculation as to how the New York Times‘ paywall cost a whopping $40-50 million. The final product is hardly a fortress, seeing as everyday another amateur hacker seems to come up with a theory of how to work around it. And the Times certainly didn’t spend it copy-editing their advertising.

Philip Greenspun explains the exorbitant sum:

A monster database server to keep track of which readers downloaded how many articles? They should already have been tracking some of that for ad targeting. In any case, a rack of database servers shouldn’t cost $40 million.

How much should it have cost, exactly? Greenspun puts it in perspective:

I built a pay wall back in 1995 for the MIT Press… I can’t remember exactly what I charged the Press, but it was only a few days of work and I think the invoice worked out to approximately $40 million less than $40 million.

Times, you were robbed.

Mediabistro Course

Travel Writing

Travel WritingStarting September 23, learn how to turn your travel stories into published essays and articles! Taught by a former Vanity Fair staff writer, James Sturz will teach you how to report, interview, and find sources, discover story ideas and pitch them successfully, and understand what travel editors look for in a story. Register now!