NY Times Tests A Paywall With A Regional Paper

from the and-what-will-they-learn dept

Last year, the NY Times announced plans to implement a paywall in 2011. We're not entirely sure what they've been working on over the year between the announcement and the actual implementation (as many of the "leaked" details seemed to contradict other comments), but apparently the company is quietly testing a paywall on a separate local newspaper, the Telegram & Gazette in Worcester, MA. The idea is to hide certain local content behind the paywall -- which will charge a whopping $14.95 per month to access. Now, looking around, it certainly does appear that the Telegram & Gazette is really the only major news source in Worcester (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but I can't find anything else significant). However, with various local news operations springing up all over the place, it certainly seems like it could make sense for one of them to quickly target Worcester and get a nice jump in traffic.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    fogbugzd (profile), Aug 17th, 2010 @ 11:20pm

    Not many expense accounts.

    I am not sure how good a test this will be for the NYT going behind a paywall. A lot of people can put the NYT on an expense account. I am guessing we won't see as much expensing of the WT&G.

     

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

  2.  
    icon
    Harold (profile), Aug 18th, 2010 @ 4:31am

    the pay wall humm

     

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

  3.  
    icon
    Harold (profile), Aug 18th, 2010 @ 4:38am

    the pay wall humm

    well I have been reading the weekly new from Stonebrige press
    the other is central mass news (hourly) that is making way so the T&G has it's work cut out for them. Note that this is local only news.

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2010 @ 4:55am

    you better include fo rthat price:

    a free tv show , a movie and a top notch game or 15$?
    haha
    fail

     

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

  5.  
    icon
    Eileen (profile), Aug 18th, 2010 @ 5:13am

    I'm as liberal as they come, but I have grown pretty damn tired of the NYT of late. I used to enjoy their (typically) well-written, and occasionally well-chosen stories, but they seem to to be headed toward a parody of their former selves. The rhetoric is more evident and grating, and the writing more pompous than refined. Coupled with the fact that they write PR fluff pieces for their favorite corporations, taking statistics and "facts" wholesale from the devil's mouth, meanwhile attacking others when it is popular (ex: BP, who I am no fan of, but consistently treating all corporations as possible criminals would be more to my taste).

    One feature I did like was that the comments on some articles were generally far more thoughtful, mature, and well-written than (for example) CNN, which are downright depressing in both their ignorance and typical venom. Of course I haven't seen comments for some time, I have no idea why they took that away.

    A pay wall will only ensure that I never read the NYT again. No great loss, really.

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    Berenerd (profile), Aug 18th, 2010 @ 6:14am

    I had a free subscription....

    They offered a 1 month free subscription to people where I used to work in Worcester. I tried it and honestly, the local news articles were not so local unless you consider Virginia local here in Mass. The paper has always been a joke and now I know why. Behind the paywall i saw more ADs than anything of use.

     

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

  7.  
    icon
    lux (profile), Aug 18th, 2010 @ 6:38am

    I drive out to Worcester every now and then to play disc golf. Trust me, no one is throwing down $14.95/month for this. Drive through Worcester, and you'll know why.

     

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

  8.  
    icon
    fogbugzd (profile), Aug 18th, 2010 @ 6:55am

    Not many expense accounts.

    I am not sure how good a test this will be for the NYT going behind a paywall. A lot of people can put the NYT on an expense account. I am guessing we won't see as much expensing of the WT&G.

     

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

  9.  
    icon
    phil (profile), Aug 18th, 2010 @ 7:45am

    Worcester

    I'm from Worcester; left many years ago and returned to visit recently. The newspaper was always a joke, mostly filled with AP and NYT national stories. Much of the city is depressed and in shambles. Its downtown city center, a remake of Main St. is in shambles, the huge parking garage boarded up. Selling a $15 a month subscription to Worcesterites is like selling a $100 a month ice delivery to eskimos.

     

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

  10.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Aug 18th, 2010 @ 10:03am

    Re: Not many expense accounts.

    Bingo. That's half the reason that the financial papers can make it sorta work. They're being paid with a third party's money. The other half is that the timely access to their reporting is more valuable (to a certain group) than it is expensive.

    That doesn't really work for local reporting. Or for 99% of the NYT.

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2010 @ 11:42am

    Keep in mind that the Boston papers do a far better job of covering Worcester than Worcester papers do. I don't even know of anyone that looks at the T&G site, everyone goes to boston.com

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    vastrightwing, Aug 18th, 2010 @ 8:44pm

    5 readers will pay.. on second thought

    maybe even less. Hey guys, people don't pay for news. They pay for access. Access is essentially free, so how are you going to convince people to pay for something they can already get free? Imagine trying to charge for air. Bad business plan. People can already breath air without paying. So can you add value? Obviously YOU can't. But eventually someone will.

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    AW, Aug 18th, 2010 @ 9:16pm

    Yeah there's multiple places to go for information regarding Worcester and the T&G isn't it. I seriously thought they were a free paper and didn't realize they charged. You get far better information on Worcester from the paper out of Leominster the "Sentinel and Enterprise". My local paper has a paywall, but we're a small town so I just ask my neighbor whats going on, as the information is probably coming direct from the source.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This