New York Times said to be wary of Apple tablet deal

“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.

43 Comments

  1. With all due respect to the Old Gray Lady . . . who gives a flying fig what that dying propaganda rag thinks, says, or does. It ceased being the newspaper of record decades ago, and nothing–NOTHING–found inside its folds can, or should, be believed.

    Rest In Peace, NYT. (And take the Boston Globe with you.)

  2. Wow-the NYT might be signing their own death warrant.

    Apparently “old media” like publishing and music distribution will not learn anything about “new media” until it’s too late.

    Good riddance!

  3. Did the Times own all the news stands? All the hotels? All the drug stores? All the myriad of other distribution points for their product?

    The Times is as bassackward about their business model as they are about their editorial content.

  4. “Times have Changed”
    The NY Times will follow the greedy Music labels and will find that the old guard is on it’s way to hell. Instead of tapping into the current new potentials that will keep them in business and getting creative in reinventing their income revenue streams they will adamantly act like ostriches and prefer to strong arm their way into oblivion.

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