back to article New York Times tucks skirt behind stilted paywall

Regular readers of the online version of the New York Times will be asked to pay for a monthly subscription to the newspaper after perusing 20 articles on the site for free. On 28 March the Gray Lady will begin charging frequent visitors to its website. The newspaper described the "loyal readers" paywall as a "bet" based on …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. David Kelly 2

    Drink your own Kool Aid

    NYT readership is down because readers are not finding content worth reading, even when free. There is just too much content there which is patently ideological wishful thinking and fantasy, yet presented as fact. One of those themes is the notion that increasing taxes on "the rich" is free money. Am glad to see the NYT attempt to implement their own beliefs on their readership. Just might make capitalists out of them one day, if they survive.

    1. Robert Hill

      Way off base...

      During the height of America's Golden Age, the 1950s and 60s, the top American personal tax rate was over 70% - way over at times ( It is now at 35%, and the country is crumbling, with pathetic educational standards, rampant income inequality, and a rapidly declining standard of living.

      All the NYT does is point out certain facts like that...sorry if you can't connect the dots yourself.

  2. Petrea Mitchell
    Jobs Horns

    Allowed to charge more for iPad?

    Doesn't charging $20 for the iPad subscription rather than the same $15 that applies to other mobile/Web access run afoul of those new guidelines? Or did the NYT get special dispensation to do things differently? Or, most likely of all, am I just confused...

    1. lurker

      title is required

      I have no idea if it's allowed or not, but it's certainly amusing how they have clearly identified a sector of their audience with high disposable income and/or limited sense.

      1. Robert Hill
        Jobs Horns

        Apple cut...

        No, they are charging more to allow the 30% payment to APPLE, as per the terms and conditions of their apps. I'm just SHOCKED how many stories El Reg has had on that, and yet here we have people wondering why the iPad app will actually cost more...DOH!

    2. Petrea Mitchell
      Paris Hilton

      Oops, I missed a bit

      Mean to say "[...] those new App Store guidelines about allowing the subscription for the same price everywhere?".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        >those new App Store guidelines about allowing the subscription for the same price everywhere?".

        Good luck with that. It either requires publishers to take a loss on iOS or subsidise that loss by charging Android etc users more. Most iOS users aren't going to care about an extra $5 a month here and there, those that do aren't the customers that Apple wants anyway.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      >Doesn't charging $20 for the iPad subscription rather than the same $15 that applies to other mobile/Web access run afoul of those new guidelines?

      Howso? They're just passing the Apple Tax onto the Apple customers where it should be. Any other approach would mean alternate platforms subsidising the iOS-eaters.

  3. F. Svenson
    Thumb Down

    Unlimited or 100 articles per month?

    According to the page to link your dead tree account to your digital account, you only get 100 articles per month for your Unlimited service.

    Fine print:

    *Includes access to 100 Archive articles every four weeks.

    1. dux

      unlimited current, not archive

      Archive article limits apply to a historical archive of past articles... WSJ does the same kind of thing.

    2. Petrea Mitchell

      This is apparently a FAQ

      Found here:

      "All subscriptions include 100 Archive articles (1923–1986) every four weeks."

      Although why news dating from 1986 or earlier is more valuable or harder to serve up, I'm not sure. Maybe academic researchers just happen to be a market that will pay whatever price you ask?

    3. The Wegie

      Archive != current edition

      The archive is everything more than a year or two old back to 1851. It's always been behind a paywall unless you're a subscriber.

    4. Mike Moyle

      @ F. Svenson

      Current articles would be unlimited; older articles in their archives would be limited.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmmm 20 free views you say?

    Wonder how they plan to monitor that, cookies perchance?

    1. Hugh McIntyre

      Re: Hmmm 20 free views you say?

      Right now most articles require a username/password, even though they are free. You're correct that cookies are used.

      So presumably in future you could get around the limit if you created multiple accounts, but not if they successfully link the accounts to something hard to fake such as a real postal address. Most people will probably not want to be bothered by creating multiple accounts though, especially heavy users.

      And as for iPads, there may be an appleID or similar involved.

  5. Tina Ferrer

    Tina Ferrer

    Keller is an old white guy trying to remain viable in a new media world and he’s as delusional as they come. Paying for NYT’s content is like paying twice the normal amount for root canal when you don’t need root canal. Yeah, let's pay to hear whoopee cushions go off simultaneously but Keller’s joke is those aren’t whoopee cushions.

  6. Neil 44
    Jobs Horns

    Allowed to charge more for iPad?

    Presumably of the $20/month 30% goes to Apple, so they only get $14...

  7. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Already asked Google News

    "Fewer NYT stories, please!"

  8. bart

    NYTster, anyone?

    This is an unfortunate act of corporate desperation for which NYT shows a considerable lack of conscience toward its hard won but honorary role as a major force in US public opinion. And it shows that, as with many (if not all) corporations, continued quarterly growth of the company (rather than a level of sustainability or shrinkage that reflects the real economic environment) is far more important than the people that it serves, in that service continually shrinks to feed the company’s artificially increasing bottom line. And what incredibly good timing; in the depths of a worldwide recession NYT decides to essentially drop lower income readers in favor of a monied minority that will pay such an exorbitant price.

    So, in 15 years NYT marketing team has not come up with a viable internet distribution/advertising model? That is truly unbelievable. How many different advertising schemes has NYT tried since going online? How many unique or pioneering ideas have they had to change the game? If there is blame to be attributed for the insolvency of NYT’s online model, it rests not with the public, but squarely on the shoulders of NYT. It is unfortunate that in the rarified strata of boardrooms filled with disconnected executives and reams of financial “projections,” the concept of “the customer is always right” appears to have been abandoned.

    It reminds me of a time when music industry “suddenly” woke up to the fact that the world had changed around them, but had up to that point virtually sat on their hands. Customers (and potential customers) wanted lower prices and more granular online distribution. Imagine if, in response, the industry had turned to a model that made content completely unaffordable for many in the hopes that a high price/low distribution model would save the day. How would that have worked out?

    In the case of the music industry, companies that created new ways of doing business, with an eye toward customer satisfaction as an important component to their business model, survived and indeed flourished. The opportunity for NYT may involve some nominal online subscription fees, but more likely exists in the development of a new paradigm for reaching the vast and as yet untapped online advertising potential. That online advertising hasn’t worked for NYT to this point just means just that - not that it won’t or can’t.

    It’s not time (not that it ever will be) to drop the for fee online subscription bomb.

    1. Goat Jam

      continued quarterly growth

      Indeed, this is something that irritates me about business in western countries, this insane insistence on growth every single quarter. If there is no growth then they are punished by the shysters in the banking mafia.

      There is no awareness of sustainability or evidence of any long term thinking at all.

      It is all about making more money than last quarter, whatever it takes.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We'll see if I keep reading...

    I have the New York Time's rss feed on my main page. I read a couple articles a day, but really only because they're free. There are other newspapers I can read for free, so if I start getting to the point where I'm going over my limit, I'll just look elsewhere for comparable articles.

    I think they should also offer a 48 hour period for a dollar, I think that'd be more successful among casual readers like myself.

  10. Adrian Esdaile


    "New York Times"?

    Nope, never heard of it.

    Yeah, the khaki duffel coat with Generals' stars, thanks.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    pay for it or see adverts

    I wonder if this is a side-effect of add-blocking software becoming more popular. These sites need to make money somehow, so if people block the adds, then we will have to pay money instead.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Ad blocking was forced on us

      Banner ads no problem

      Links on side no problem

      I started with pop up ads - they made me block them so now they all lose.

      Animated ads - block.

      They killed their own industry.

      Same as the TV companies - lets be loud - viewer presses mute.

      1. Hooch181
        Thumb Up

        I agree MJI...

        They just don't seem to get that!

      2. Wize


        I'm the same. I didn't mind the line of text ads along the top or down the side. But when popups came along and the animated ones, I started blocking. Now I have AdBlockPlus and do not see any.

        The ones that include sound in their advert banner should be taken out and shot.

  12. Grumpy Fellow

    Pricing advice

    I would be willing to pay $3 a month (same as Pandora Radio) for reading NYT online. $15 a month seems high to me.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Dodgy pricing

    So $15 for web and a smartphone app, $20 for web and ipad and $35 for web, smartphone and ipad.

    So basically if you want web smartphone and ipad you have to buy two subscriptions? ($15 one + $20 one if it's not obvious)

    That's nice. Nevermind that you're an increased _monthly_ fee for the same content. Or are you telling me they're re-designing the app every month?

  14. bart

    NYT cares . . .

    Sweet. Customers are so important that they quietly extiguished the 2500 comments they received on their pay-up-you-slackers announcement article. Aside from removing all comments, as well as the ability to add new ones, NYT has made a "correction" which states that the bottom tier price ($15) includes 4 weeks web access AND a web app.

    Now that's a much, much (enclose with italics for sarcasm here) better deal, eh?

    1. Raving


      Another Canadian please

  15. Raving
    Dead Vulture


    Not paying for it.

This topic is closed for new posts.