“According to two senior New York Times officials, the announcement that the paper would be launching a metered pay model for its website has nothing to do with the upcoming release of the Apple tablet,” Gabriel Sherman reports for New York Magazine.
“The Apple tablet until now has been portrayed as a potential savior for old media, as publishers have rushed to ready tablet-ized versions of their publications. But despite the fevered speculation of just what the Apple device might be, publishers like the Times are taking a revised view about the tablet’s potential to reinvent their digital businesses,” Sherman reports. “With iTunes or an Apple-controlled online store, publishers will be cut off from their readers. Apple will handle payments and Apple will control all the lucrative demographic information that publishers collect to sell to their advertisers. The tablet may vastly improve the mobile reading experience, but in terms of providing a business model that publishers will leap to adopt, there’s a strong case to be made that the Times and others shouldn’t fall prey to the iTunes trap.”
“In announcing its semipermeable pay wall today, the Times is signaling that it wants to be in control of its vast readership and fully monetize its audience. Media writer David Carr made the point in his 1,400-word analysis of the meter announcement that ‘in the long run, [Apple and Amazon] would have controlled and benefited from the relationship far more than The Times.’ The paper may very well sell its content through Apple’s app store or some new iTunes-like service, but as much as they can, the paper wants the primary point of payments to come through the meter,” Sherman reports.
Read more in the full article here.