NY Times Online Tries To Lose Relevance: Will Charge For Opinion Pieces

from the well,-there-goes-that-idea dept

Back in January, the New York Times admitted it was thinking about charging for its online content. While plenty of people explained why this would be a very bad idea, putting it in the company of the Wall Street Journal, who is losing its relevance with many influencers, it appears the folks at the Times didn’t get the message. While they’re not locking up everything, they admitted today that op-ed pieces and columnists will all go behind a paid wall starting this fall. It will cost you $50/year after that if you want to know what the NY Times thinks you should think. While some people will pay it, this seems like a bad idea all around. It will make the NY Times’ thought leaders much less relevant, much less discussed… and much less valuable.

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Comments on “NY Times Online Tries To Lose Relevance: Will Charge For Opinion Pieces”

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Mike (profile) says:

Re: No Subject Given

you have elevated penenberg’s assertion (not proof) that WSJ is “in danger of becoming irrelevant” to fact in your blurb, Mike.

No, we’re pretty clear that it’s an opinion. However, we believe it’s an accurate one, and supported by lots of data, including new measurements of discussion online.

From everything we’ve seen, we believe that the WSJ is taking the wrong path, now being followed by the NY Times. It risks taking them *out* of the conversation at the very moment when being a part of the conversation is going to be the most important element of a media play.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: No Subject Given

for those who don’t want to read the journal, you can podcast it — in fact, you could podcast it before podcasting was termed. their print is #2 newspaper in the country, they pioneered paid content among big newspapers and made it stick, they pioneered audio, and they are expanding to a weekend edition for better leverage of barrons. Of course people are attacking them: they’re great.

jojo says:

Re: Re: Re:2 WSJ / NYT

The only reason the WSJ subscriptions are so big is because it is de rigueur for companies, particularly those involved in the financial or tech world to subscribe to this rag. Go into most companies main offices and you’ll find a copy sitting on the welcome desk. But you won’t see many copies anywhere else. People mostly subscribe to it for looks (and it’s a tax deductible item anyways).

If the NYT starts charging for content, then I agree, they will join the WSJ in the ranks of the irrelevant and online readers will move onto other sources. There’s still the Washington Post, the LA Times, probably a whole host of other quality papers in the USA that I am not familiar with. And don’t forget the rest of the world out there either.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: No Subject Given

If you read through the links, it points to many influencers who are no longer reading or discussing the Journal. That’s what we said. Which part isn’t accurate? If you haven’t figured it out yet, just about everything we write here is our opinion and our analysis… But, that one seems to be supported pretty clearly. Multiple people, who are clearly considered “influencers” have said they no longer read the Journal because it can’t be discussed. Stats that look at how people online talk about news sites show that few link to the Journal.

We’ve made it clear that it is our belief that the future of news is in the ability to share the news, and the fact that the Journal has made this more difficult is a problem for them.

Which part is confusing to you?

Precision Blogger (user link) says:

WHat is the NY Times' REAL problem?

It’s obvious that the NYT is taking a gamble here that has a good chance of failing. If the NYT is taking a gamble with one of their best aspects, they may be trying to solve a serious problem. Could there be something really bad about their current online $$ model?

– The Precision Blogger

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