Monday, December 28, 2009

Paywalls | Amid Arianna's doubts, where's NYTCo.?

The New York Times floats the notion today that publishers are drawing closer to charging for online content, a 180-degree turn from a nearly 15-year-old practice that's proved disastrous for the industry. "Indeed," report the NYT's Richard Perez-Pena and Tim Arango, "in the next several weeks, industry executives and analysts expect some publications to take the plunge."

Yet, their story cites only a few examples, and none of them involve New York Times Co. sites.

Whatever the industry-wide outcome, skeptics abound on whether publishers are serious about making the switch. Blogger Alan Mutter told the NYT: "We’re looking at some sort of an inflection point, at least in attitude. But I haven’t seen much realistic, hard-headed thinking about how that's going to happen, so I don’t know how much is really going to change. And Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington (left) "predicted that much of the talk of media's mining the Web for new revenue would never become reality -- and that if it did, free sites like hers would benefit,'' the Times says.

What do you hear about for-pay products and firewalls at your site? Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the rail, upper right.

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