Re: Pony Up, Blogger


Firefox's AdBlock killed ads for me long ago, something which saves my life, but probably kills ad-dependent companies if it ever becomes mainstream. But I'm guessing they'll just find new ways to be clever with marketing.

Surely on the free news front, at least the BBC is safe, almost by law? At least, for now... And maybe that means that competitors will have to stay free to keep market-share.

Posted by: rob | Link to this comment | 01- 7-05 11:32 AM
horizontal rule

My subscription to the online Irish Times has been about 80 euro a year since I first got it. I could never understand why the other ones were free. But I agree, this definitely sucks, I would have to think about whether daily access to NYT, Guardian etc will be worth it to me or not.

Posted by: billyfrombelfast | Link to this comment | 01- 7-05 11:35 AM
horizontal rule

WSJ already does this. I can't see free web news disappearing, althought it might. But if the nytimes forced me to install a program that opened full screen ads before looking at an article, I'd do it to keep the product free. Maybe.

I think what we could see happening is a tie-in of online and paper subscriptions. It would make sense. You subscribe to the nytimes paper? You get onlien too.

Posted by: tweedledopey | Link to this comment | 01- 7-05 12:10 PM
horizontal rule

I'd probably feel stronger if the NYT still seemed readable, but it feels like an organization in freefall compared to what it used to be. It's like a place good writers go to die.

Still, it does seem like an important moment for free content. They've seemed like they were trying to squeeze more revenue from the internet for a while with their special downloadable editions and whatnot. What's next, back to a subscription fee for slate?

Posted by: cw | Link to this comment | 01- 7-05 12:10 PM
horizontal rule

On the contrary, there is an easy solution: one person subscribes, then shares his password with others.

Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 01- 7-05 12:49 PM
horizontal rule

In practice Adam, yes. Half of the paddies in New York share my IT password with me.

Posted by: billyfrombelfast | Link to this comment | 01- 7-05 1:48 PM
horizontal rule

Is the WSJ online peppered with ads, even though it charges?

Posted by: Jorge | Link to this comment | 01- 7-05 4:23 PM
horizontal rule

Yes, the Journal has ads. And everyone mentions the success of the WSJ pay model, but that's really a niche paper, with readers who are exceptionally affluent, and whose subscriptions are often paid by their employers or written off as a business expense.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01- 7-05 4:35 PM
horizontal rule

Niche, maybe, but still the 2nd highest circulation, and above the Times.

Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 01- 7-05 6:22 PM
horizontal rule

I access the NYT almost everyday, primarily for Paul Krugman and Bob Herbert.

Doesn't the NYT have enough money? Why do they feel the need to charge for online content?

I currently pay for salon and New Republic(an). I have been satisfied with salon (they are sufficiently antibush for me) but less so with New Republic(an).

Posted by: Miriam | Link to this comment | 01- 8-05 5:01 PM
horizontal rule

It seems to be cyclic. The management of the media outlet looks at all their web traffic and at the (fairly dismal) advertising revenues and thinks: we should start charging, dammit!

They start charging - no-one subscribes, they don't get much traffic and switch back to a free model.

So long as a few media sources are free (e.g. the BBC and regional papers that live off classified ads) anyone going chargeable is not going to make many dollars.

Exception - financial publications like the FT or WSJ who can sell enough corporate subs to bank libraries to make the exercise worthwhile.

Posted by: Rich | Link to this comment | 01- 9-05 7:40 PM
horizontal rule