The New York Times Pay Wall

I think it’s too expensive and too confusing: $15/month for unlimited web site access and smartphone app access; $20/month for the web and tablet app access; $35 for web, phone, and tablet access. (And they’re not really months — it’s a four-week billing cycle.)

Why not just $15/month for everything? Or $10/month for the website and an extra $5 or $10 for “apps”. The distinction between phone apps and tablet apps is just confusing. And The Times should get its software in order before charging extra for it. I might pay $5 extra per month for their iPad app — but not in its current state where it’s buggy, crashy, and too slow. I’m willing to pay for the NYT, but I don’t want to feel nickel-and-dimed.

The above is my take as a consumer and long-time daily reader of The Times’s journalism. Professionally, this pay wall is likely going to result in my linking to stories at far less frequently than I used to. They claim that referrals from blogs won’t count against your free article count:

Readers who come to Times articles through links from search, blogs and social media like Facebook and Twitter will be able to read those articles, even if they have reached their monthly reading limit.

But if they’re liberal in that regard, it’ll prove too easy to circumvent the pay wall. I sure hope this works out for them, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Friday, 18 March 2011