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The New York Times to Charge for Frequent Access
weeks




msg:4062545
 9:44 pm on Jan 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Perhaps what is the top global news online site is looking to charge for access. I suppose this is The New York Times way of getting in front of the coming wave of tablets.

I hope this works, but I'm doubtful. I'm a big fan of the NYT (as you can tell from my postings, probably).

From New York magazine, via Editor and Publisher's Fitz & Jen [fitzandjen.com]:

The Times has considered three types of pay strategies. One option was a more traditional pay wall along the lines of The Wall Street Journal, in which some parts of the site are free and some subscription-only. For example, editors and business-side executives discussed a premium version of Andrew Ross Sorkin's DealBook section. Another option was the metered system. The third choice, an NPR-style membership model, was abandoned last fall, two sources explained. The thinking was that it would be too expensive and cumbersome to maintain because subscribers would have to receive privileges (think WNYC tote bags and travel mugs, access to Times events and seminars).

[nymag.com...]


 

J_RaD




msg:4062984
 6:25 pm on Jan 18, 2010 (gmt 0)


I am waiting until January 27 to see what the Apple iTablet whatever announcement is. It would appear that the NY Times is somehow involved in this in some manner

how long has everyone been trying to push tablet computers? 7 years? how have they took off, not good at all.

how many times can you repackage the same thing over again..its all they've been doing with laptops the past 10 years, smaller, screen moves, new colors....

physics




msg:4063046
 7:31 pm on Jan 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Some kind of paywall system might work if it were run in certain ways. I.e. I pay $x/month or /year to ONE company and have access to all kinds of content. The company accepting the payments figures out how much to distribute to each 'affiliate' by measuring traffic/popularity of the different affiliates. So I could go to the NY Times as well as other 'premium' newspapers/blogs without having to sign up and deal with a payment to each of them.

DonMateo




msg:4063087
 8:19 pm on Jan 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Anyone here know how to make money from content? Only everybody reading this... So how come the NYT can't turn a profit from their content?
...maybe they need to cut expenses...

Right, their expenses are likely way higher than the majority of readers here. But there's a limit to how much cost-cutting you can do while still researching and producing quality original articles on myriad topics.

Demaestro




msg:4063096
 8:37 pm on Jan 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Right, their expenses are likely way higher than the majority of readers here. But there's a limit to how much cost-cutting you can do while still researching and producing quality original articles on myriad topics.

Yes but the website is a byproduct of those expenses. They incur those expenses to create a newspaper.

Putting their content to the web is secondary, the high expenses are subsidized by the selling of physical newspapers.

It is like nice hotels, they generally have better food then stand alone restaurants because hotel kitchens don't worry about the food cost as much because it is subsidized by the room rentals.

incrediBILL




msg:4063235
 11:17 pm on Jan 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

I pay $x/month or /year to ONE company and have access to all kinds of content.

Exactly.

Like subscribing to a cable TV package, you pay $20 to access 100 sites, something like that.

how long has everyone been trying to push tablet computers? 7 years? how have they took off, not good at all.

Everything is finally ready for tablets to take off and iPhone/Android/Kindle are ushering in the kind of user experience people are looking for to make it happen.

The time is ripe, I'm ready for one.

Of course I had my first table for R&D purposes back in '91, wanted to keep it too!

walkman




msg:4063344
 4:05 am on Jan 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Apparently they have to try something. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't but their revenues are down so radical ideas are needed

graeme_p




msg:4063367
 6:34 am on Jan 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Right, their expenses are likely way higher than the majority of readers here.

Their traffic is higher in proportion. Probably more: if you spend x hours writting an article that is published on their site, or the same time writing an article on your site, which do you think will be read more, and who do you think will be able to get higher CPMs from advertisers.
But there's a limit to how much cost-cutting you can do while still researching and producing quality original articles on myriad topics.

I do not read the NYT, but most newspapers actually do very little research. Take away what they repeat off news wire services, and regurgitations of press releases, or "research" that consists of phoning one or two contacts and summarising what they say, and there is precious little left.

Have you ever been used as a source by a journalist? I have a few times and I have never been impressed.

Read some newspaper articles on the sort of topic you do not normally read about in the mass media, because (for example) you read specialist publications (i.e. if you read Nature, read the science articles). Notice how misleading, and generally poor the coverage is. You can assume that they are equally bad at everything, but you do not have the expertise to spot it in other areas. Content worth paying for - I think not.

NYT has some very good content (e.g. Krugman's economics column) but it will not appeal to everyone enough to get them to pay.

mack




msg:4063410
 8:41 am on Jan 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't think ad revenue is questionable. I think the cpc/crt would make most of us very happy. But its the cost of producing an article that needs to be taken into account. If we look back to the golden age of news the revenue could have easily been per customer. If you wanted to read the news you had to buy it.

Now, with free access and trying to rely on ad revenue it looks a lot bleaker. Yet the cost to produce the articles has almost certainly risen along with inflation.

A lot of work and investment goes into creating news. The content theft and rewrites are all but killing the industry.

Mack.

onepointone




msg:4063416
 8:58 am on Jan 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

IMO pay for content has to wait until people are clamoring for it. If you try to push it out to a non-responsive audience, ... not so good.

Digmen1




msg:4063421
 9:30 am on Jan 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

I kind of feel sorry for the newspapers and journalists.

But when you watch Fox news or CNN you see all those people in the studio and out in the field. Thats all being paid for somehow.

Rosalind




msg:4063499
 12:41 pm on Jan 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

A monthly fee ... no thank you.
CC payments ... no thank you.

Paying from a small cash deposit made into my phone, yes please.


Whereas I'd prefer the opposite for my preferred news source. So the ace up their sleeve might be the ability to offer multiple payment schemes.

I pay $x/month or /year to ONE company and have access to all kinds of content. The company accepting the payments figures out how much to distribute to each 'affiliate' by measuring traffic/popularity of the different affiliates.

I've suggested this idea myself in the past. I think it could work, it could even be an alternative Adsense as a popular way of monetizing websites, if done correctly. The trouble is, devising such a system will be massively expensive to engineer and keep fair. Who has the incentive to invest?

I wonder how many actual journalists are out there investigating original stories, and writing them up? Murdoch and others are considering paywalls, but we're still nowhere near a tipping point. What would it take to lock up the better part of the news, leaving the reputation of the free stuff diminished?

physics




msg:4063715
 6:32 pm on Jan 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

One place where online content is being monetized in a pay-for-content-per-month way is blogs on the Kindle where users pay typically $1/month for a blog to be delivered to their Kindle. This isn't quite what I was suggesting but it's close. I wonder how successful that program is?

In any case Amazon and Apple (when the Apple 'tablet' comes out) both have the opportunity to pull something like the $x/month for various content model off.

StoutFiles




msg:4063735
 7:06 pm on Jan 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

I still wonder how this will work with scrappers. The pieces paid for will have to be completely opinion based for this to work.

Information can easily be repackaged on the web, it's not a huge deal when both sites are free...most will just go to the best site, which is almost always the source. But when the best site now has a pay wall...

wheel




msg:4063808
 8:39 pm on Jan 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'd be happy to pay for news off the web.

I was thinking about this again last night. And I'd love to see some type of aggregator service that's tablet or kindle-like bases.

What'd be marvelous is getting up in the morning and turning on my 'newsreader' to get it's daily update. And my personalized daily update consists of:
- I pay for my local news (replaces my small town weekly)
- I pay for my slightly more local news, the nearest big city.
- I pay for my state wide news.
- I pay for my national news
- I pay for dilbert
- I pay for my national business news
- I pay for an extra fee for 'google alerts' like service where I get articles from all over in my niche.

that opens up a few things. Like radio stations, now I can get (and by 'get' I mean have access if I'm willing to pay) news from all over the world. I can't even get our national daily business paper in this town I live in. I'd pay for that.

In addition, the next small town over has a 'monthly'. Some dude prints off 500 copies in his basement once a month and distributes them for free at the local convenience stores. They go like hotcakes. He could hook into this netowrk, I'd pay for his paper.

Papers could get started using their existing reporters infrastructure. As an aggregator, they'd eventually find lots of regional or niche specialists who'd be willing to provide pay for content services I'm sure.

Two easy ways to monetize that. First, that scenario has to be an advertisers dream....I can target everyone who gets this region, or that niche, or whatever. Secondly, I'd pay handsomely for this type of service. Way more than I pay for my TV services. What do you pay for your TV? $50-100/month? My wife just told me we pay about $14 for our local daily paper (and it's not worth even that much, piece of crap :) ). Is $100/month/subscriber make them profitable? Particularly with no production or delivery costs? I don't know.

walkman




msg:4063817
 9:01 pm on Jan 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

"What do you pay for your TV? $50-100/month?"

The TV stations are owned by a handful companies: NBC, CBS, Disney, Fox so it's much easier to agree with them. Now imagine the mess that exists in print and online media

eltercerhombre




msg:4064035
 6:01 am on Jan 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

If the NYT goes after a paid model is because only advertising is not good enough in terms of profit. That's all, if they do money enough they do not move.

We already pay for services when it's worth doing it. The question now is: how much a year subscription to the NYT is worth? I won't mind paying 100$ or 200$ (yearly) for a newspaper I read from time to time, but I won't be paying it like a printed newspaper because: I don't get the paper; I do not read every article.

Anyway, my opinion doesn't matter a lot. But in a few years, for sure, almost everyone will be reading newspapers online instead of paper ones, and they need to find a way to get some money.

I'm not a fan of newspapers, because they're almost always biased, but to be honest as of now they're the most trustworthy source the most of the times. Or, at least, they accomplish a function that no other do.

travelin cat




msg:4064240
 2:42 pm on Jan 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Apparently they will be charging for "frequent" usage:

Starting in early 2011, visitors to NYTimes.com will get a certain number of articles free every month before being asked to pay a flat fee for unlimited access. Subscribers to the newspaper’s print edition will receive full access to the site.

www.nytimes.com/2010/01/21/business/media/21times.html?hp&emc=na

weeks




msg:4064298
 3:45 pm on Jan 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Update:
The New York Times announced today that it will be introducing a paid model for NYTimes.com at the beginning of 2011.

[finance.yahoo.com...]

nbhp




msg:4066961
 11:37 pm on Jan 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

But when you watch Fox news or CNN you see all those people in the studio and out in the field. Thats all being paid for somehow.

CNN and Fox News both get huge amounts of money from cable subscribers. There are approximately 95 million cable households in the United States and each pays around 20 to 50 cents a month to Fox News and CNN each. Even if we take the low end, 95,000,000 households times 0.20 cents times 12 months equals $228,000,000 a year. Not bad, plus they also get to sell advertising.

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