New York Times Paywall

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

As everyone knows, The New York Times paywall went into place for online content March 28th.

Recently, I gave a group presentation on the paywall activation. One thing that really stands out to me is that the cheapest option for The New York Times readers is to get a print subscription. If someone has a print subscription the online access is still free. So why not go with that option?

When talking to fellow classmates about the online costs, it seemed like an overwhelming majority of the students wouldn't pay for online access. And not only to The New York Times, but to any print newspaper or magazine they might read.

Our generation and others expect news to be free, so most people are not willing to pay for it. If publications impose paywalls, that will send the average person elsewhere to where they can still get it free.

Not only were students close-minded about the idea of having to pay for online content, they also said they wouldn't pay for Facebook. This surprised me, but they had good logic behind it. If no one was on Facebook anymore because they were unwilling to pay, then why stay on Facebook if no friends are?

In my opinion paywalls at most publications will not work. Publications like the Wall Street Journal have been able to enforce paywalls since they have material not found elsewhere, and a dedicated following.

Newspapers like USA Today, The New York Times, or other national newspapers may have trouble with paywalls, but I am looking forward to see how this pans out.

Photo Credit: New York Times via Creative Commons


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