The New York Times is expected to begin charging readers for online access this year. A (free) online story in New York Magazine reveals the heated debate between print and online managers, and the difficult issues behind such a decision. Excerpts:

“The decision to go paid is monumental for the Times, and culminates a yearlong debate that grew contentious, people close to the talks say. … The argument for remaining free was based on the belief that nytimes.com is growing into an English-language global newspaper of record, with a vast audience — 20 million unique readers — that, Nisenholtz and others believed, would prove lucrative as web advertising matured. (The nytimes.com homepage, for example, has sold out on numerous occasions in the past year.) As other papers failed to survive the massive migration to the web, the Times would be the last man standing and emerge with even more readers. Going paid would capture more circulation revenue, but risk losing significant traffic and with it ad dollars.”


The New York Times is expected to begin charging readers for online access this year. A (free) online story in New York Magazine reveals the heated debate between print and online managers, and the difficult issues behind such a decision. Excerpts:

“The decision to go paid is monumental for the Times, and culminates a yearlong debate that grew contentious, people close to the talks say. … The argument for remaining free was based on the belief that nytimes.com is growing into an English-language global newspaper of record, with a vast audience — 20 million unique readers — that, Nisenholtz and others believed, would prove lucrative as web advertising matured. (The nytimes.com homepage, for example, has sold out on numerous occasions in the past year.) As other papers failed to survive the massive migration to the web, the Times would be the last man standing and emerge with even more readers. Going paid would capture more circulation revenue, but risk losing significant traffic and with it ad dollars.”

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