The Times e-mailed a survey to its print subscribers yesterday asking whether they would be likely to pay a monthly fee to access NYTimes.com
The survey reads, according to Poynter: “The New York Times website, nytimes.com, is considering charging a monthly fee of $5.00 to access its content, including all its articles, blogs and multimedia. All of this content is currently available for free.
“When answering the following questions, please think about whether you would be willing to pay for continued unlimited access to nytimes.com.
“How likely would you be to pay a $2.50 monthly fee — which would be a 50% discount for home delivery subscribers — for continued, unlimited access to nytimes.com?”
Times Co. spokeswoman Catherine Mathis admitted that the pay wall could generate a lot of revenue but could affect their existing revenue streams: “People talk about how we’ve got to charge for content. We already do have a revenue stream for advertising, and the two are related. You start charging and it can affect the other,” Mathis told Poynter.
We of course think this is a pretty bad idea, as written, because the NYT’s online traffic will plummet if its excluded from the blogosphere. No links, no traffic. But they’ve got to make money somehow. We’ll see…