New York Times ready to charge for access to its website; Apple tablet could be factor

“New York Times Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. appears close to announcing that the paper will begin charging for access to its website, according to people familiar with internal deliberations,” Gabriel Sherman reports for New York Magazine.

“After a year of sometimes fraught debate inside the paper, the choice for some time has been between a Wall Street Journal-type pay wall and the metered system adopted by the Financial Times, in which readers can sample a certain number of free articles before being asked to subscribe,” Sherman reports. “The Times seems to have settled on the metered system.”

Sherman reports, “One personal friend of Sulzberger said a final decision could come within days, and a senior newsroom source agreed, adding that the plan could be announced in a matter of weeks. (Apple’s tablet computer is rumored to launch on January 27, and sources speculate that Sulzberger will strike a content partnership for the new device, which could dovetail with the paid strategy.) It will likely be months before the Times actually begins to charge for content, perhaps sometime this spring.”

Full article here.


  1. we will see an entire ecosystem spring forth for print media; the richer and more multilayered, the more you’ll pay. In a perfect media world, you will sense parallel value for the media you buy. there will always be a free version of the same news, like lite apps you leach for free from the App Store. You’ll always be offered a method of instantly upgrading to the richer media stream.

  2. Let’s see, Apple gets a cut of the music business, the movie business, the phone business, the App business, and now the publishing business. One company to rule them all . . .

  3. I read the article and the 15 comments at that time. Interesting takes on some of the commenters. Subscription model. iTunes model, etc. If this comes to fruition, I can see something in between the subscription model and iTunes model…well have to wait and see.

  4. I’m happy to pay a reasonable rate for high quality content in an easily usable form. We’ve just never had that option.

    I love reading magazines, but just never bother to subscribe. If I could always have the current Economist or National Geographic on my Tablet, I’d pay for that.

  5. He who controls the flow of information controls the world apple Is setting it self up very Nicely controlling the way paper listen to music get thier news watch thier movies and pretty soon with the tablet you will see an expansion like never before as all the chips fall into place and I say it’s about time as they have shown the people they care about what they create and want to provide the very best user experience available not just for profit but for the better of man and it all starts with information the next ten years you will see the way we should be living the way apple has mind and I for one am happy about that they care

  6. Online content is a great cash cow. Cheap to produce (no paper or postage), and very flexible.

    I’d pay for online information if it was very good and relevant to my needs. Not sure about something like National Geographic, though. The printed version is so much better than what you get on screen. Screen colors may be move vivid, but the resolution is terrible. Most picture articles translated to web look horrible, unless you go the PDF route, but that has its own limitations (especially when protected).

  7. You won’t pay for a lib rag? I am sure that Drudge is happy about that. It should be much less than hard copy of paper. I bet all the conservative crap will still be free. After all conservatives think everything should be free. That’s why they hate america. They don’t believe that we should have taxes. Military should be free. Highways cost nothing to build, health care etc.

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