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Report: TimesSelect to be discontinued

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Perry White, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. Perry White

    Perry White Active Member

    I'm sure their columnists will be happy about this news...

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/08072007/business/timesselect_content_freed_business_holly_m__sanders.htm

    The New York Times is poised to stop charging readers for online access to its Op-Ed columnists and other content, The Post has learned.

    After much internal debate, Times executives - including publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. - made the decision to end the subscription-only TimesSelect service but have yet to make an official announcement, according to a source briefed on the matter.
    ...
    The number of Web-only subscribers who pay $7.95 a month or $49.95 a year fell to just over 221,000 in June, down from more than 224,000 in April.
     
  2. Cousin Jeffrey

    Cousin Jeffrey Active Member

    That's a decent amount of money. Why quit it? It annoys me, sure, but I could pony up and pay. Nic Kristof said while he didn't love the practice, it did pay for his trips around the world.
     
  3. Moland Spring

    Moland Spring Member

    It fell 3,000 people and they are discontinuing it? I don't understand...
     
  4. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Here's one of the problems Times Select has:
    If you have home delivery of the Tinmes, you get Select on-line for free. My sister gets the Times delivered, she doesn't read on-line, she reads it on the train from NJ to NYC every morning.
    I used her home delivery account number to get Times Select for free even though I don't have a subscription. I know many others, especially in North Jersey, who do the same. Lots of us are getting Select for free with someone else's account number.
     
  5. daemon

    daemon Member

    Don't take this as holier-than-thou, because I'd probably do the same thing. Just playing Devil's Advocate:

    What's the difference between that and illegally downloading music?

    Aren't you stealing intellectual property?

    And if we are robbing from our own business, no wonder it's hard to make money on the 'Net.

    Again, just playing devil's advocate.
     
  6. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    You are absolutely correct deamon.
    But I do pay the Times $39.95 a year for the crossword puzzle on-line, so I don't feel as guilty.
     
  7. In Exile

    In Exile Member

    I just hope they keep free access to the archive.
     
  8. chazp

    chazp Active Member

    I don't either. Maybe drop the price some to get the subscribers back who left, but drop it all together when it was making money. That makes no sense.
     
  9. Free David Brooks!
    Whoo-hooooooo!
    Wait....
     
  10. jfs1000

    jfs1000 Member

    I think it is more than numbers or a financial reason, but I think in the current online world not having columns available really diminishes visibility.

    Columnists like Krugman, Kristoff, Brooks, Rich, Dowd and others help set the news agenda of the day.

    Not having those columns online really diminishes their visbility in online discussion, which is quite substantial. If the entire industry went to that model then it would work. But, is the times so much better than the Washington Post that you would pay for it?
     
  11. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Times Select goes away at midnight tonight.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/18/business/media/18times.html?_r=2&hp&oref=slogin&oref=slogin
     
  12. pressmurphy

    pressmurphy Member

    I know on the surface it doesn't seem to make much sense, but they crunched the numbers and realized that there's more money to be netted in the near future by selling ads on those pages. Even in the age of automation, the subscription system requires constant maintenance as customers come and go. There's less overhead associated with running a free site -- your primary expense is the same throughput charge you'd be paying under either model.
     
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