New York Times erects paywall, rolls out digital subscriptions; agrees to Apple’s terms

The New York Times has announced their plans for their paywall and digital subscriptions via a letter published today. Here it is, verbatim:

Today marks a significant transition for The New York Times as we introduce digital subscriptions. It’s an important step that we hope you will see as an investment in The Times, one that will strengthen our ability to provide high-quality journalism to readers around the world and on any platform. The change will primarily affect those who are heavy consumers of the content on our Web site and on mobile applications.

This change comes in two stages. Today, we are rolling out digital subscriptions to our readers in Canada, which will enable us to fine-tune the customer experience before our global launch. On March 28, we will begin offering digital subscriptions in the United States and the rest of the world.

MacDailyNews Take: For treating our beloved Canucks as guinea pigs, you will not be easily forgiven, NYT!

The Times continues:

If you are a home delivery subscriber of The New York Times, you will continue to have full and free access to our news, information, opinion and the rest of our rich offerings on your computer, smartphone and tablet. International Herald Tribune subscribers will also receive free access to NYTimes.com.

If you are not a home delivery subscriber, you will have free access up to a defined reading limit. If you exceed that limit, you will be asked to become a digital subscriber.

This is how it will work, and what it means for you:

• On NYTimes.com, you can view 20 articles each month at no charge (including slide shows, videos and other features). After 20 articles, we will ask you to become a digital subscriber, with full access to our site.

• On our smartphone and tablet apps, the Top News section will remain free of charge. For access to all other sections within the apps, we will ask you to become a digital subscriber.

• The Times is offering three digital subscription packages that allow you to choose from a variety of devices (computer, smartphone, tablet). More information about these plans is available at www.nytimes.com/access.

MacDailyNews Note: Here are the prices from the Times’ site:
– Full access to NYTimes.com and smartphone app – US$15 every four weeks
– Full access to NYTimes.com and our tablet app – $20 every four weeks
– Full access to NYTimes.com and our tablet and smartphone apps – $35 every four weeks

The Times continues:

• Again, all New York Times home delivery subscribers will receive free access to NYTimes.com and to all content on our apps. If you are a home delivery subscriber, go to http://homedelivery.nytimes.com to sign up for free access.

• Readers who come to Times articles through links from search, blogs and social media like Facebook and Twitter will be able to read those articles, even if they have reached their monthly reading limit. For some search engines, users will have a daily limit of free links to Times articles.

• The home page at NYTimes.com and all section fronts will remain free to browse for all users at all times.

For more information, go to www.nytimes.com/digitalfaq.

Thank you for reading The New York Times, in all its forms.

Sincerely,

ARTHUR OCHS SULZBERGER Jr.

Publisher, The New York Times

Peter Kafka reports for AllThingsD, “And with the Times’ announcement, Steve Jobs gets his first big publisher to announce it is signing on with his new subscription plan: The Times says it will sell access to the paper’s apps through iTunes, on Jobs’ new terms.”

“That means that the Times will give up 30 percent of every subscription it sells through Apple,” Kafka reports. “And the Times will also lose access to valuable subscriber data for those sales, too. But clearly the Times has decided that it’s better to work with Steve Jobs than to ignore altogether the market he’s created.”

Kafka reports, “The Times won’t be selling subscriptions through Android or Blackberry app stores, says spokesperson Eileen Murphy; the only two places to buy access to the paper will be through its site, using its e-commerce engine, and via Apple.”

Read more in the full article, including info on how to get around the NY Times’ paywall, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Ellis D.” for the heads up.]

54 Comments

  1. Pay them? ROTFFLMFAO!

    The New York Times could not pay me enough to wade through their elitist, out-of-touch statist paeans.

    The New York Times’ readership and influence will drop considerably due to these moves and that, my friends, in a very good thing.

  2. As a Canadian, I don’t read The New York Times. It’s nice to have the bonus of not subscribing to the online version and saving money while not reading The New York Times.

    1. You’ve obviously never read The New York Times, because outside of a couple liberal opinion columnists, The New York Times does a masterful job at promoting the statist, corporatist status quo that you Fox News fans love to embrace.

        1. Carefully chosen, thank you. The Republican economic model is “statist”, in much the same way favored in chaebol Korea, keiretsu Japan, Fascist Italy, and Nazi Germany, with large oligopolies getting favored treatment at the expense of workers and small business. Who do think funded the Tea Party in the 2010 election cycle? It certainly wasn’t the millions of small dollar donors who supported Obama $1 and $2 at a time 2008.

            1. Name ONE industry that has actually been nationalized by this Administration or ANY Administration, at any point in history.

              That is, if you actually know what that term means.

          1. You mean like this?
            POLITICO 3/16/2011: Obama will hold a small, six-table, high-dollar fundraiser at the Red Rooster Restaurant on Lenox Avenue. The donation for the dinner is $30,800 a head.

  3. And people bash the $.99 a week for the daily…
    $15 a month…

    I have been playing with the nyt app, it’s ok but I would rather go for the daily.
    IMO, the daily is built great but kinda lacking as a news source. One thing I wanted in the daily, back issues……. If I miss yesterday, it’s gone.

      1. The Daily has competition, but he’s right I am not gonna pay 15 a month. I’ll try the daily or other news apps, but NYT will now be my last choice.

    1. This is why entrenched big businesses want to destroy the internet. They want to protect their old-world business models, and to do that they have to eliminate or marginalize their “free” online competition.

  4. In recent years, the New York Times has become just another mouthpiece for the powers that be. Their shameful lack of journalistic responsibility doesn’t deserve to be rewarded with subscription dollars.

  5. Sophomoric flame-baiting about the quality of the paper aside aside, this is the future of all online newspapers. $15/month doesn’t seem awful. What seems stupid is charging a different rate for different types of online access, and they’re going to suffer for that decision. So if I have an iPad and an iPhone, I have to pick which device I want to access NYT? that’s just dumb.

    Just make it $15/month for electronic access and be done with it.

    1. I could not agree with this point of view more. I like the NY Times, I go to it everyday, mostly on my phone while commuting (public trans of course). I do dislike how most major news organizations are far too liberal, including the NY TImes, but they in my mind are worth paying for. But not at different price points for various devices. I will now be inclined to use Safari on my iPad or iPhone to access NYtimes.com

    2. I agree 100% and will be the ultimate reason this type of plan should, and hopefully will, fail. Charging extra money for the iPhone version when i just paid for the iPad version is just stupid.

      For essentially 35 dollars a month, if you want the whole-shebang, it better have a very low percentage of advertisements and really stellar content. I don’t see that happening here, at least not enough to warrant 35 bucks a month.

  6. Normally I would not be this pissed off, but why are we Canadian the Dam guinea pigs. We have not even gotten our iPad 2 yet. NYT should go find some other suckers to test their paid subscription service, it will not be this Canuck .

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