Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Urgent: NYT debuts plan to charge for Web news

After months of internal debate, the New York Times Co. this morning announced a new plan to charge readers for most of its online news and information. Under the new "metered model," scheduled to begin a year from now, nonsubscribers will be allowed to view a set number of articles per month free, the Times says in its story. Reading additional articles in the month will result in a charge, which the NYT didn't specify. It said it would be providing more details in the coming months.

Chairman Arthur Sulzberger says the decision came after "months of vigorous analysis and debate,'' according to a memo to employees obtained by the Romenesko industry blog: "We know from long experience that significant change invariably breeds controversy; that there will be an ongoing public conversation about what we are doing, and we expect that many of the comments will prove to be helpful."

NYT media columnist David Carr on advantages of a so-called meter: "By building a metered system, the executives have installed a dial on the huge, heaving content machine of The New York Times. Access can be gradually ramped up or down depending on macro trends in the market."

Plus: Here's the WSJ's story. Also: The NYT Picker blog

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[Image: today's NYT, Newseum]

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