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Posts Tagged ‘paywall’

NY Times Tightens Paywall on Mobile Apps

The execs at the New York Times appreciate that you read lots of articles via the paper’s mobile apps, but they just have one little request: Ante up. To nudge readers toward that goal, today the Times has tightened the paywall on its mobile apps.

Previously, anyone using a Times mobile app could access three free articles per day. The paper will now allow you to access just 10 free articles per month. After that, you’ll be prompted to pay for a subscription. Any articles reached by social network links still won’t count toward your monthly limit.

Now please, you know what to do: 1) Listen to some Mash Out Posse and 2) Buy a Times subscription.

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Capital New York Launching $6,000 Paywall

Do you read Capital New York? If not, you should! It’s a good site, with plenty of talented writers cranking out quality content. Actually, you should probably get your fill now, because beginning next month Capital is installing a paywall, and subscriptions for up to five users will run about $6,000 per year. You have to at least admire the state of consciousness Capital’s execs are occupying to think that people will pay that price.

Adweek reports that a subscription to Capital gets readers the site’s newsletters, full access to its three verticals (City Hall, Albany and media) as well as “customized alerts,” which we imagine will be monthly texts reminding you of the money you’re flushing down the toilet.

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Sports Illustrated Tests Annoying Paywall

Would you rather pay cash, or be annoyed by a video ad in order to access online content? That’s the question Sports Illustrated is looking to answer via a paywall system currently being tested. Adweek reports that SI is experimenting with a paywall that allows readers to access print articles early if they watch a 30-second ad first:

Akin to the Hulu and YouTube ad swap model, viewers are offered a choice of ads to watch (Del Monte vegetables and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. were two recent options), the assumption being that if people get a choice of which ad to watch, they’re more likely to recall it and buy the product. Once the visitor watches the ad, the article is unlocked for a 24-hour period.

There’s little we hate more than video ads, but we have to give SI and Selectable Media — the company responsible for the paywall ad system — credit for trying this. Squeezing cash out of readers who don’t subscribe is the ultimate challenge.

This could be a big win if people get so annoyed by the video ads that they end up buying a SI subscription. Although we assume there are some people out there who actually enjoy ads for canned peas, and still won’t pay up.

You’ll Just Have to Guess if USA Today is Considering a Paywall

USA today logo GUSA Today might be considering a paywall for its website. We can’t tell you for sure because Larry Kramer — president and publisher of USA Today — is being pretty vague about the whole thing.

Here’s a collection of quotes about the paywall from Kramer, via The New York Post and Poynter:

  • “We’re going to look at it.”
  • “People are exploring it”
  • “The question is, if we do it, what is the best way to do it.”
  • “No plan exists.”
  • “We’re studying it.”

To recap: USA Today is schizophrenic.

The New York Times’ Subscription Ad Campaign Costs $13 Million

The New York Times wants everyone to sign up for one of its subscription plans, so to help spread the word, the company launched a massive ad campaign.

WWD reports that the effort – which runs through 2011 – includes two TV spots and a few print ads in the subway that you’ve probably seen by now. The grand total? $13 million.

FishbowlNY is a Times subscriber because we believe in paying for the best journalism in the world, but spending $13 million for an ad campaign when the company is already hemorrhaging money seems a little odd. And even if the Times thinks that’s a deal, $13 million should (at the very least) buy the newspaper typo-free ads.

Analyzing the New York Times Paywall Subscriber Numbers

Earlier today we told you how the New York Times released the first stats since its paywall launched, and like most people, we thought over 100,000 subscribers was pretty good. However, not everyone is so optimistic.

Nieman Journalism Lab did some raining on our parade with a post involving a comparison of Times Select, the Times’ first attempt at a paywall, and the new paywall. The bottom line, according to the post: The initial numbers are good, but patience is needed.

These are the people who love the Times and have no problem ponying up a few bucks a month as soon as they’re asked, both because they see the value in the paper and out of a civic-minded spirit. (I’m one of them!) They’re the primary target of the Times’ paywall efforts past and present.

The problem is that there are only so many of them around. And TimesSelect, at least, had a difficult time getting a lot of traction beyond them — with subscriptions increasing by only about 7,000 in the last four months.

See, this is why we don’t mess with stuff like “numbers” and “research.” It just bums us out.

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.

New York Times Paywall Begins Today

The New York Times paywall goes into effect today.  We’re sure you have already thought about what you’re going to do about it, but we thought we’d remind you anyway.

A quick refresher: You can view up to 20 articles per month, after that, you’ll have to start paying. The pay packages are $15 per month for access to and a smartphone app, $20 for website access and the paper’s iPad app, or $35 for complete access.

We actually crunched some numbers and found that getting the weekend paper delivered ends up being cheaper than subscribing just to the digital. That’s all well and good, but all that paper can start stacking up in your apartment. Then you forget to take out the recycling for two months, and your mom visits and she thinks you’ve become mentally ill, or at the very least a mentally ill slob. So yeah, FishbowlNY suggests just paying for the digital package.

Everyone Has A Theory About How to Take Down The New York Times Paywall

The biggest indicator that the New York Times‘ dreaded paywall will be a success is how much effort people are making to try and take it down.

Already, a host of methods have been dreamt up to sabotage the paywall. Some involve leaks already in the system. For example, there is the social media “leak” in the paywall that enables people to see Times stories that pop up in Twitter feeds.

Now Canadian coder David Hayes has just released NYTClean, a bookmarklet that, in one click, tears down the Times’ paywall. Joshua Benton at Nieman Journalism Lab summarizes this as:

“Released” is probably even a little strong — it makes it sound like there was an extended development process. All NYTClean does is call four measly lines of Javascript… It barely even qualifies as a hack.

Ouch! Considering that, as Benton gleefully reminds us, the Times spent $40-$50 million on the paywall, this is a poor sign that this will be a smooth technological transition. But the fact that there is already a war waging against the paywall is a strong sign of just how much people want to read the Times online.

More Info on New York Times Paywall

FishbowlNY told you last week that the Times will be charging about $20 a month for full access to its website, and now a report from the Wall Street Journal sheds a little more light on the subject.

Russell Adams mostly rehashes what’s already known about the paywall in his piece, but then there’s this:

Times Co. executives say people who arrive through search engines like Google won’t be blocked from viewing the first page of a search result regardless of how many visits they’ve made. The openness of the system has raised questions inside and outside the Times about whether the paper is making it too easy to avoid paying.

Yeah, that little problem of search engines.

The Times can try all it wants, but it’s too late for a paywall. It’s not going to work. The paper should just focus on making the website better and increasing online ad revenue. The Times missed the boat on charging for online access when it first started its website 15 years ago. It’s hard to blame the paper because back in 1996 the Internet was in its infancy and people somehow thought listening to The Wallflowers was an okay thing to do, but the damage is done. No one will pay for online access to the Times, so the paper should just scrap the whole idea.