On NYT Paywall, Citigroup says 'Good Buy'; Techdirt says 'Hello!?!'

from the say-what-now? dept

We've been having some fun mocking the NY Times paywall, which makes no sense to us at all. While we're sure some people will subscribe, the overall math is hard to make work, especially considering anyone who wants to can easily get around the paywall. In fact, the way the NY Times set up the paywall, it actually takes away significant value from the NY Times itself. Instead, it drives that traffic to other sites that link in to NYT stories, because readers don't use up "free clicks" if they come in via other sites.

In the meantime, we've got plenty of stories of other paywalls out there that suggest that people aren't particularly eager to sign up for paywalls. Some will. Perhaps a fair number will. The NY Times has the kind of brand that will certainly lead a bunch of people to just subscribe, perhaps without realizing they really don't need to do so.

However, consider ourselves confused and scratching our heads to hear that an analyst at Citigroup, Leo Kulp, is making the rather shocking prediction that "Revenue generated by an annual digital subscription will likely dwarf the advertising revenues generated by even heavy users." Say what? The only way I can see this happening is if the NY Times has the world's worst online ad sales force, which I doubt. And, of course, we already have some data on a NY Times subscription plan, back from the last time they tried a paywall. It generated some money -- about $10 million per year. Not chump change, but hardly a huge number for a publication like the NY Times, which was why they did away with it. They knew that expanding ad revenue was a much better plan.

So can anyone explain the math by which the NY Times' digital subscription revenue will "dwarf" ad revenue? I've been plugging numbers into spreadsheets, and unless the online ad market totally collapses, I just can't see the math making any sense.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Lisa Westveld (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 6:13am

    No, it makes a lot of sense...

    Well, consider this... Due to the paywall, advertisers will move away from the NYT and start advertising on other sites that just link directly to the NYT articles. The net result will be that income from advertisements will drop to near-zero.
    Fortunately, there will always be people willing to pay to get past the paywall in a normal way, even if they have to do this so they can set up the links on their sites to forward their own visitors to the NYT site. Thus, there will be some income from subscriptions.

    Thus: advertisements = near-zero income, subscriptions is some income. As a result, advertisements are indeed dwarved by subscriptions... :-)

     

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    Sneeje (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 6:13am

    Ya know, I think many analysts thrive on others' cognitive biases. They know they aren't really expected to be able to predict the market, and they know that many people will focus on their "hits" (because they want to believe) and dismiss their predictive failures. So I think they throw stuff out there to see what sticks, and when they get a hit they say, "See, I am a market genius!"

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 6:15am

    Simple, governments, liberals, and Wall Street us a different kind of math than main street.

    A accounting is being interviewed for a job.

    First candidate goes in.

    First question: How much is 2 + 2?
    Candidate answers 4.

    Second candidate goes in.
    First question: How much is 2 + 2?
    Candidate gets up closes the door.
    Then whispers in the interviewer's ear: How much do you want it to be?

    For main street first candidate gets the job.
    For governments, liberals, and Wall Street second candidate gets the job.

    And that is the problem and why no one on main street can understand governments, liberals, or Wall Street.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 6:16am

    WARNING!

    Toxic assets bundle ahead do not approach, treat as toxic wast or radioactive material.

     

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    Donnicton, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 6:17am

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/web/03/23/nyt.paywall/index.html?hpt=C2

    CNN is also chiming in via a somewhat pro-nyt biased article, in no uncertain terms labelling anyone who gets around the paywall as "People who don't want to pay for the Times' content -- or who believe the internet is and forever should be an endless vat of free stuff".

     

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  6.  
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    abc gum, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 6:18am

    Re:

    You look confused

     

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  7.  
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    Jay (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 6:19am

    "So can anyone explain the math by which the NY Times' digital subscription revenue will "dwarf" ad revenue?"

    Maybe they used RIAA numbers to get the accurate numbers for the paywall.

     

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  8.  
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    Jay (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 6:21am

    Re:

    Ever notice that the ones meant to predict the market aren't rich themselves?

     

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  9.  
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    The eejit (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 6:24am

    Re:

    Wait, what? You think there's a Librul Agenduh in this?

    And I'm the one who's insane.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 6:31am

    Re:

    Wait, Liberals and Wall Street? Commies and capitalists?

    I think you have to give up your categories and stereotypes or you have to give up hope. It's one of the two.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 6:34am

    Re:

    I prefer the term politicians since that includes everyone who is in politics and not just a subset of those crooks, if you think republicans or independents are different you are mistaken.

     

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  12.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 6:37am

    Re: Re:

    Note, however, the fully-fledged idiocy here. It's like a fine red cabernet twirling in your long-stemmed glass.

    The first taste to hit your mouth is the bitter aroma of "governments". Note that while the taste of this ingredient is bitter, it is also relatively nuetral. At no time is "governments" overwhelmingly on one side of the aisle or another.

    Next, we have the earthy dulcet tones of "Wall Street". Note the complexity of the taste? That's because the players on "Wall Street" are generally (you guessed it) conservative! "Wall Street" adds body to the flavor as well as oxidization, which you can test for yourself by swirling your glass and noting how long it takes for the argument to drip down the sides.

    Finally, we have the simple and sweet textures of "liberals". This particular flavor tastes like a six week old semen stain on a dress, which is strange because it's generally no better or worse flavored than the "Wall Street" component.

    So, this argument, like a good wine, is full flavored and complex, because it basically indicts EVERYONE, from conservative cock sandwiches to nonsensical nuetrals all the way to lamp-licking liberals (I like alliteration). The fact that, like most red wines, it will only result in a headache if consumed too much, is also of note.

    My suggestion? Feed this argument to your dog.

    CHALLENGE....

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 6:38am

    I think his point is that on an "individual user" scale, the subscription fee is far more than ($15/month minimum) an "indivual user" would ever earn in ad revenue.

    $15/month * 12 months = $180 a year. I don't know squat about online advertising rates, but at 5 cents per page view (I'm sure its WAY lower than this) It would take 3600 pages views to earn that same $180 a year. Not many people would rack up that many views in a year.

    I think this is what hes basing his math on. The revenue earned per paying subscriber is orders of magnitude above what they earned off that single user through ad revenue.

    I think this is a valid point, but ignores all the negatives of the paywall, such as driving readers away and lower ad revenue from reduced page views etc. They just assume they will get enough subscribers to offset the ad revenue losses.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 6:40am

    Time to down grade Citigroup.

    If their predictive power is this good- Citigroup isn't worth anything near what the stock market seems to think it is.

     

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    Blatant Coward (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 6:41am

    Maybe they used the chart in this article for their evaluation:
    http://theunderstatement.com/post/4019228737/digital-subscription-prices-visualized-aka -the-new

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 6:51am

    First off, I have to say that your obsession with the NYT is amusing as heck. Second, the math is actually in their favor.

    In the pay / subscription model, money is made at all times. That is to say, you get paid regardless of what the user does. If they visit your site daily / hourly or not, they are still paying. A 1% conversion rate on traffic @ $180 a year means about 50 cents per day. So then you have to look at your revenue per non-paying user, if your site is open. If that is half a cent average per visitor, you are now breaking even.

    More importantly, even with a subscription model, you have free pages that you give away, and those have advertising on them. So you don't lose anywhere near as much ad dollars (and you can in fact concentrate on them, as each of the exposed pages would be more significant), and you end up netting more money overall.

    The variable is the signup rate. That is the one that is never known in a new system.

    But yes, the subscription model can be much more profitable. This is especially true for something like the NYT that already has a subscription base to work from, will still have plenty of viewers to the newspaper online, and so on.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 6:53am

    '"Revenue generated by an annual digital subscription will likely dwarf the advertising revenues generated by even heavy users." Say what? The only way I can see this happening is if the NY Times has the world's worst online ad sales force, which I doubt.'

    Shit, td must make a ton of cash then.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 6:56am

    Re:

    No more or less amusing than your obsession with being contrary to every single post on this site regardless of facts, logic, or intent.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 7:05am

    Re: Re:

    When it comes to the online subscription model, I have some experience. Mike doesn't understand the economics of it (and I don't think he wants to), because it goes against his basic beliefs. It is a very different animal, with pluses and minuses that can lead to a very successful model, or a very poor one.

    The conversion factor (how many people sign up) and the retention factors (how many people remain signed up and keep paying) are key in knowing the bottom line.

    There are a lot of things at play that none of us (not even Mike) will have access to (like average page views on the free edition, ad income per page, cost per page to provide,e tc), nor do we know how the subscription model will change that. Example, the "20 free pages" may represent what the average casual user does in a given time period, which may mean that the NYT retains all of the existing ad revenue, plus they gain on subscription, example. We don't know, because we don't have access to the details of how their site runs.

    The economics are just very different from a straight ad revenue based model. I doubt that Mike would want to put the results from his CwF thing on the table to show the amount of income that was generated while retaining full ad views. I don't expect the NYT will want to do it either.

     

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  20.  
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    Onnala (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 7:08am

    A counter idea...

    Don't normally comment but I got to thinking about how the NYTs paywall might make sense if you make a couple of assumptions.

    One: They have left so many holes in their paywall that a casual user like myself would never even see it. (I get my news by reading blogs like Techdirt, or aggragators like Slashdot, ect.)

    Two: This is a big assumption, consider that they have been looking at their traffic and realize that most of it comes from direct links from blogs, twitter, facebook, and others. Their heaviest users might be just the kind of people that would pay for the news from the NYTs. Be they from wall street, or blog writers who make their living writing about the news.

    Three: The last assumption would be thinking that they are not dumb. 98% of the people that come to their site wouldn't pay for a subscription. But 2% would. So how would you setup a paywall that lets in most of that 98%, while charging the people that find your site the most useful? Something like they have done.

    So the big question is how would this work for them and I think I have an idea. A blog writer is looking for stories to write about when they go to the NYT. Adds are wasted on them. How would they view the content if they were paying for it? It would have more value to them. And they would still be able to link it in their blog without worry for their readers.

    So it might actually work them them.

     

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  21.  
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    JackSombra (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 7:08am

    Re:

    Liberals? Think someone have been drinking to much of the tea party kool aid...unless you just messed up and actually were trying to play a version of "the odd man out"

    Now if you wanted to lump government, wall street, conservatives it would be more valid but not the tea party as they would not belong in even that group as correct answer to 2+2 for them would be '54'

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 7:11am

    I've been plugging numbers into spreadsheets, and unless the online ad market totally collapses, I just can't see the math making any sense.

    What if ad blocking became a default feature in Internet Explorer, like popup blocking is now? Imagine a world where even the non-tech savvy block ads. Perhaps Mr. Kulp has inside info on this, Microsoft's latest desperate attempt to topple the Google giant?

    Or he could be biased, bribed, or just flat-out wrong. One of the four, I suppose...

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 7:23am

    Re: Re:

    "Now if you wanted to lump government, wall street, conservatives it would be more valid but not the tea party as they would not belong in even that group as correct answer to 2+2 for them would be '54'"

    The Tea Party are Urlacher fans?

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 7:50am

    Re:

    Actually, you add another good point to the discussion. As more and more people become "savvy" to online advertising, the more of them block it out. It won't be long before the default for a browser is to filter out ads from all the known networks, to "improve speed and reliability" or some other sort of nonsense. Then the whole discussion about "ad supported sites" will become moot, because most people won't see the ads.

    The funny part is that it might end up back where RtT+CbF (Reason to take, copied by fans) ends up: Looking for the one sucker with the ad blocker turned off, and then trying to get him to see a million pages to pay for everyone else.

    It's amusing to see how many of Mike's business model ideas end up at this dead end.

     

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  25.  
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    AllisonK (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 8:00am

    Re:

    Agreed - I think this is the right interpretation of the analyst. Revenue from a subscriber would be higher than ad revenue per user, so the NYT would need fewer subscribers than it currently has consumers. No argument there. But how many people will sign up? No comment in the article - hopefully the analyst's report addresses that question!

     

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  26.  
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    Pixelation, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 8:02am

    Setting up for lawsuits

    Next they will be working with Righthaven and start suing anyone who links to their articles.

     

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  27.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 8:06am

    Re: Re:

    "Then the whole discussion about "ad supported sites" will become moot, because most people won't see the ads."

    Why can't you get past this notion that we live in some kind of static world? Advertising, like any other kind of business, adapts and changes. What gets blocked by an ad blocker isn't the only kind of advertising available. More importantly, ads can be made in such a way as to actually be desirable. Advertising agencies are FILLED w/creative people. I have full faith in them to figure out how to inform us of their products.

    "The funny part is that it might end up back where RtT+CbF (Reason to take, copied by fans) ends up: Looking for the one sucker with the ad blocker turned off, and then trying to get him to see a million pages to pay for everyone else."

    No, actually, the funny part of all this is that rather than have faith in good people to do good work, you'd rather come up with meaningless strawmen that have little to no basis in reality, and then whip out your gummy-worm sized man-tube and whack away at your punching dummy. Nobody is going to rely on your one "sucker". They're far too busy evolving and competing, and if they aren't, they're competition is.

    "It's amusing to see how many of Mike's business model ideas end up at this dead end."

    Name one. Seriously, name a modern business model that Mike or anyone else writing for Techdirt has championed that is now dead. Go ahead, I'll wait....

     

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    Anonatard, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 8:11am

    I've got it.

    (retain ad revenue since the website is free for the tech saavy)
    + (guilt some supporters into paying a subscription fee)
    = (increased profits)

    I'm a marketing genius too!
    /sarcasm

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 8:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "It's amusing to see how many of Mike's business model ideas end up at this dead end."

    Name one. Seriously, name a modern business model that Mike or anyone else writing for Techdirt has championed that is now dead. Go ahead, I'll wait...


    I would go into a detailed explaination of the difference between "dead" and "dead end", but I might be speaking past your understanding level. Clearly you are only reading every other word at this point.

    Alas, a dead end doesn't mean dead, it just means that it is trapped, stuck with no way to move forward. The whole "sell the scarce" model dead ends where you end up with a single person overpaying dramatically for some artificially scarce item, while what they are really going is paying the freight for all the freeloaders who got the true product for free (music, movie, etc).

    The discussion the other day about Zenith is a perfect example. A few people are paying $25 or $50 "donation" to the cause. But they are the few compared to the mass of people who come in, watch the free clip, and leave. They will be back (maybe) to watch the second part when it is released. They sure aren't going to pay for it. The model dead ends because it hopes that a few suckers will overpay in order to support the masses getting it for free.

    it dead ends because it can't progress further. You teach most people not to pay, and you hope there are enough people who ignore this lesson and pay (way more than they should).

    They aren't "dead" models, they are just "dead ends".

    the funny part of all this is that rather than have faith in good people to do good work, you'd rather come up with meaningless strawmen that have little to no basis in reality, and then whip out your gummy-worm sized man-tube and whack away at your punching dummy.

    Aside from your snide personal insults (and it is bigger than a gummy worm... sorry to disappoint), you obviously don't pay attention around here. People who pirate are not "good people doing good work", they are people looking and taking a free ride. If they are willing to work hard to get a music file, imagine how much effort they will put into blocking annoying ads and sticking it to the man.

    Advertising only works when people see it. There are laws that limit how far advertisers can go into being part of the "conversation" before they have to announce that they are in fact an ad. People learn to filter those things out, and over time, ad blockers (with a shared dynamic blog tagging system for spam) will filter those out too. The same sort of creative people who write the ads also write ad blocking software. Plus the ad blocking software people are doing it for fun most of the time, so they really have much more time and effort to put into it.

    Perhaps Mike would like to let us know how many people are using ad blocking of some sort or another. I am guessing that about 25% of the people coming here block some or all of the ads.

     

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  30.  
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    Overcast (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 8:32am

    There's little you can find on the NY Times and not anywhere else... luckily - for now, no one is trying to 'own the news'.

     

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  31.  
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    Gill Bates, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 8:33am

    The new "new math"

    The new math is called "having senior executives that really do not understand the technology."

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 8:33am

    Re: Re:

    Remember too that if they grant access to all of their dead tree edition users, they will also still have fairly significant page views and advertising income. They will also have ad income on all the free pages they serve before the firewall.

    I think there is much more here than Mike would like to admit.

     

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  33.  
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    Richard (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 8:35am

    Re: Re:

    Actually, you add another good point to the discussion. As more and more people become "savvy" to online advertising, the more of them block it out. It

    How come you think they will be savvy enough to block ads but not savvy enough to disable javascript and get past the paywall?

     

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  34.  
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    holeinthewall (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 8:35am

    Earthquake not required to bring down this wall.

    How did they spend 40 or 50 million dollars on a wall that has yet to stop me here in Canada.

    AdBlock Plus and No Script, and Twitter feeds of the stories, and bookmarklets, and more can be used to get around, under, over and through it.

     

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  35.  
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    Richard (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 8:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The model dead ends because it hopes that a few suckers will overpay in order to support the masses getting it for free.

    What really gets me about your comments is your poor view of human nature and morals. I'm one of your "suckers". I paid up a lot of money (via kickstarter) for musopen to record music for public domain release - and guess what? I'm really happy that all the so called "freloaders" will be able to get the music for free and use it however they want. I get a real kick out of having made this possible.

    You really need to change your thought patterns and assumptions.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 8:43am

    I'm sure someone will create a firefox add-on that will parse all 'pay' links into referral links so you can get around this even easier. Hell I'd wager there is a grease monkey script that already does it. This way, you don't have to visit any other sites, twitter feeds, etc...

     

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  37.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Alas, a dead end doesn't mean dead, it just means that it is trapped, stuck with no way to move forward. The whole "sell the scarce" model dead ends where you end up with a single person overpaying dramatically for some artificially scarce item, while what they are really going is paying the freight for all the freeloaders who got the true product for free (music, movie, etc)."

    Where. Is. That. Happening?

    "A few people are paying $25 or $50 "donation" to the cause. But they are the few compared to the mass of people who come in, watch the free clip, and leave. They will be back (maybe) to watch the second part when it is released. They sure aren't going to pay for it. The model dead ends because it hopes that a few suckers will overpay in order to support the masses getting it for free."

    How is that "paying the freight"? What IS the freight? Zenith offers something for free, lots of people come in, the real fans donate, the non-fans don't, and we move on. Where's this dead end?

    "it dead ends because it can't progress further. You teach most people not to pay, and you hope there are enough people who ignore this lesson and pay (way more than they should)."

    Uh....what? You teach people WHERE YOU ARE, give them something for free, allow them to pay you for that if they want, and then use the attention to sell something else. This has been going on FOREVER. Honestly, where's the confusion?

    "They aren't "dead" models, they are just "dead ends"."

    I fail to see where you've yet demonstrated a single dead end. All I see you doing is postulating that people will trend towards not paying in a "give it away and pay" scenario, a model specifically NOT endorsed by techdirt. Care to try again?

    "Aside from your snide personal insults (and it is bigger than a gummy worm... sorry to disappoint), you obviously don't pay attention around here."

    Right. Priceless. Dark Helmet doesn't pay attention to what's going on at Techdirt....

    "People who pirate are not "good people doing good work", they are people looking and taking a free ride. If they are willing to work hard to get a music file, imagine how much effort they will put into blocking annoying ads and sticking it to the man."

    Imagine how much effort it would have taken YOU to realize that I wasn't talking about infringers with regard to "good people doing good work", but to the creative folks I mentioned that are in advertising figuring out how to get our attention, regardless of ad blockers and all that jazz. But you understood perfectly, you're just pretending to not have....

    "The same sort of creative people who write the ads also write ad blocking software. Plus the ad blocking software people are doing it for fun most of the time, so they really have much more time and effort to put into it."

    Uh, okay? It's an arms race, so what? You're acting like one side is just going to give up. Why would either side do that?

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 8:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Richard, you don't get it. You aren't a sucker - you paid for something to record your music. That is your choice in the way you want to distribute your music. That isn't a sucker play (unless you feel like one) they just sold you a service, and you chose to pay for it. The people who downloaded your music aren't in the discussion. That is a business model without a dead end and with plenty of potential: It is the vanity press of the past in digital form. Nothing wrong with that.

    What in your example would be a dead end would be kickstarter to offer your music for free, give you the tools for free, waiting for one sucker to come along to buy your autographed mousepad for $500 to pay for it all.

    That is the dead end.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 9:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How is that "paying the freight"? What IS the freight? Zenith offers something for free, lots of people come in, the real fans donate, the non-fans don't, and we move on. Where's this dead end?

    It's paying the freight because the real costs are $x per use. Like it or not, it costs them to make the movie, and it costs them to distribute it in this manner. The few people who pay (way over what it is worth) to "support" the project are paying for everyone else to get it free. The free doesn't work without someone paying for it (because there is no free lunch).

    Imagine how much effort it would have taken YOU to realize that I wasn't talking about infringers with regard to "good people doing good work", but to the creative folks I mentioned that are in advertising figuring out how to get our attention, regardless of ad blockers and all that jazz. But you understood perfectly, you're just pretending to not have....

    I realize that fully. What you aren't getting is that it is just like an arms race. The "creative" folks who make ads try to find ways to get our attention, and once spotted as adverting, the "creative" folks who make ad blockers will find a way to make it go away. Advertisers do not work in a vacuum, people aren't going to say "ahh, let these ads in, because they are so creative". People will just block them any way they can. These are "good people doing good things" by writing ad blocking software. It cuts both ways, and you don't seem to want to accept it.

    Uh, okay? It's an arms race, so what? You're acting like one side is just going to give up. Why would either side do that?

    Did I suggest they are going to give up? Nope. What I am suggesting is that it will become increasingly difficult to support websites with an "ad based" model, and the costs to create and implement effective advertising strategies online may reach a point where they are no longer cost effective. The point of advertising is to reach people. When the people are actively tuning your message out, you are no longer reaching them. Efforts made to "reach them anyway" are more likely to be seen as annoying, rather than informative.

    At that point, advertising becomes a dead end model.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 9:03am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Richard, you are aware of course that there are various methods available to check if javascript is enabled, and to choose not to serve those customers at all? You understand that there are various methods (particularly in a Windows environment) to track users, to set cookies or tokens, and to find trackable user information that would allow for tracking of page views regardless of the status of Java?

    Don't like Mike's simple minded approach blind you on this one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    freak (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 9:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Read closer.

    Richard donated money to someone else so they could record their music.

    Actually, I think just generally reading closer and trying to understand the people you're arguing against would make a great deal of difference in the quality of your arguments.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    freak (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 9:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, first of all, the times is popular enough, (I think), that you could tailor a javascript blocker specially for them.

    times site:"Are you blocked?"
    javascript blocker: "no"

    Their best defence against such a thing becoming widespread would be to constantly change and use a wide variety of ways to detect blockers.

    But then you get some horrible page loadtimes, and there are still a lot of ways to get past the wall that have nothing to do with javascript blocking.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    sfahlman (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 9:47am

    Paywall sponsorship

    Suddenly this all makes more sense to me. I saw the NYT announcement and had a few days to ponder this -- enough time to decide that I wouldn't subscribe, but would just use one of the many loopholes. (I would be happy to pay something -- a few cents per message -- for the columnists and articles I actually read, but the subscription price feels too expensive for my style of access.)

    And then I got an Email message from Lincoln (the car company). It seems that, courtesy of them, I can get full, free access to the NYT for the rest of 2011. So I signed up for that. Didn't have to buy a car, though I suppose I'll get some ad messages from them, which I can filter if it becomes a hassle.

    I don't know if everyone got this offer, or if something about my online profile led Lincoln to think that I'm a good target for their direct advertising. I am signed up with an NYT account for commenting on some of their blogs and things -- maybe that's the source of my good fortune.

    And suddenly the NYT model makes sense: Put up a paywall that is easy to get around, but a bit of a hassle. Spread some FUD about whether the various loopholes will be there forever. And then sell to a big advertiser (or several) the right to offer free total access for some fixed price to a selected slice of your readers.

    So now they don't lose me as a reader, they get a new revenue stream from Lincoln and any other companies who might be part of this program, and I'm supposed to feel grateful to Lincoln for this special service -- which I do, but just a tiny bit. It's not a bad way for NYT to make a bit of extra cash, and they will also get some subscription income from the wealthy and/or clueless.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    jjmsan (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 10:04am

    Re: Paywall sponsorship

    I also got this offer. It may be that they are selling the option of sponsering free access to companies. Our local childrens' museums have free nights brought to you by Target or Kraft.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 10:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    i) The music I paid to have recorded was not my music - rather it was classical music - where the music itself is out of copyright - but good modern recordings aren't.

    ii) The recordings will be put in the public domain - so they will be offered free to everyone (even you!)

    iii) I get nothing from this other than the rights (shared with the whole world) to use the recordings completely unrestrained by copyright - and the warm glow of having done lots of other people (who can't affford it) a favour.

    What is happening is that content in future will be funded only by those who are prepared to give it away (there are more of us than you think). We will pay the artists and they will create wonderful stuff for us.

    Those who wish to consume without paying can do it - but they have no power to determine what is created.
    Those who want to use art as a means to make money (but are not artists ) will be cut completely out of the loop.


    This is not a dead end. This is the fulfillment of the prophecy

    "The meek shall inherit the Earth"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    icon
    harbingerofdoom (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re: Re:

    damn you. i tried and my dog threw it up all over the carpet.

    the chinchillas gave it one sniff and would not go near it after that and the cat pretty much reacted in the exact opposite manner as they do with tuna. as soon as they heard the first line opening up, they ran and hid.

    now if you will excuse me, i have argumentbarf all over the carpet that i need to clean up now thanks to you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    harbingerofdoom (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 10:54am

    Re:

    why yes cnn, you are right in so much as I do not wish to pay for the NYT. I find absolutely nowhere near enough value in it to pay for it and as such if they wish to remain relevant they will allow me to peruse their site unfettered.

    although, I also do not believe that the internet is an endless vat of free stuff. In fact, case in point... i spend money on the internet every month.

    you see, it does provide value to me unlike the NYT.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    jonvaljon, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 11:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    rolfcopter

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Freak, here is an example:

    times gives you 20 pages for free. Run a php session for each user. As each pages is loaded, us javascrpt to write a cookie. Then on the next page, read the cookie. If the cookie isn't there, then javascript is not enabled. Track the user with php for the 20 pages, and then blow them off - this can be done simply by redirecting the next page request from that user.

    That is a very simple way to do thing. Depending on the type of CMS they are using to control the sites, the CMS may also have internal tracking for each user session.

    It isn't as clear and obvious as you might think.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Re: Paywall sponsorship

    Welcome to dead tree newspaper idiots outwit Mike Masnick. Film at 11, but not in the newspaper.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    icon
    EEJ (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 1:47pm

    Ads?

    I haven't been able to find out from any articles I've seen. If you pay for the access to NYT, do you still get served the same number of ads?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    icon
    Chargone (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Re:

    i'm pretty sure the goal here is 'elites', assuming that no one who actually lives in the real world could possibly be liberal...

    and given the usual US citizen's definition of liberal (anyone who's not strongly right wing economically, and thus is clearly a communist :S) this is actually a sanner definition than usual.

    after all, the common man is hardly in wall street or government...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 3:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Read the Argonne Laboratory Security Maxims - and you will realize why your position is untenable.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    icon
    Chargone (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 3:55pm

    Re: Time to down grade Citigroup.

    ... any entity that rellies on neo-classical economics as it's main point of relevance has negative economic value.

    and the stock/share market is not an indicater of anything except how many people have been conned into the latest 'bubble' (which are more like sand piles, actually, but whatever)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Ash, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 4:35pm

    Sales Will Try To Spin It

    I can picture how this will play out:

    The NYT salespeople will change tactics, and claim to advertisers that the enw traffic coming in via the paywall will be more 'targeted' and 'qualified' compared to random internet strangers.

    This will only work for a month or two. The great thing about online marketing is that everything is trackable. Advertisers will know if their revenue from NYT ads is going up or down, and react accordingly.

    At the same time, the NYT will 'secretly' encourage or permit loophole access because they know that their advertising revenue will depend heavily on loophole visitors.

    The whole thing will fail in the end, because the paywall will cut out a lot of page views and their ad revenue will drop. Shareholders will get angry.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Ash, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 4:42pm

    Re:

    You really think that NYT subscription users won't notice the fact that they are paying at all times, whether they are a seldom or frequent visitor?

    The truth is that people would much rather pay by viewing ads only on the articles they actually read than by subscribing and paying at all times regardless of the value they are getting for their money.

    Why would any reader of the NYT want to pay for/subsidize all of the hundreds of articles that they don't have the time or inclination to read?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    charliebrown (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 6:05pm

    If My Memory Serves Me

    If I remember correctly, weren't screwups from Citigroup a major contributing factor the the Global (except Australia) Economic Crisis of 2009? Think about it: If they can't handle numbers, why should we listen if they say anything like this?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    holeinthewall (profile), Mar 25th, 2011 @ 4:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:, and all the other Re:s

    ~
    Could somebody please run these through an AutoTuner?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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