« Deep Blue and Controlled Access | Main | NBC Decision »

September 19, 2007

New York Times Decision

This morning, I received an e-mail from the New York Times regarding a decision they made about a program called "TimesSelect." TimesSelect was an internet-based subscription to the New York Times that became available in September 2005. It cost $7.95 per month or $49.95 per year. However, the Times had difficulty with limiting access to TimesSelect, due to bloggers reposting the material.
Hence, today I received the following e-mail:
Dear Home Delivery Subscriber,

We are ending TimesSelect, effective today. This will not affect any services you are already receiving as a home delivery customer.

The Times's Op-Ed and news columns are now available to everyone free of charge, along with Times File and News Tracker. In addition, The New York Times online Archive is now free back to 1987 for all of our readers.

Why the change?

Since we launched TimesSelect, the Web has evolved into an increasingly open environment. Readers find more news in a greater number of places and interact with it in more meaningful ways. This decision enhances the free flow of New York Times reporting and analysis around the world. It will enable everyone, everywhere to read our news and opinion - as well as to share it, link to it and comment on it.

All other benefits of home delivery remain the same. You will continue to have complimentary access (100 articles every month) to the complete online Archive back to 1851. For additional benefits, including our All Access suite of digital products, click here: http://www.nytimes.com/allaccess.

We thank you for your support of TimesSelect, and hope you continue to enjoy The New York Times in all its electronic and print forms.

For more information, including answers to frequently asked questions, click here:

http://www.nytimes.com/marketing/ts


Sincerely,

Vivian Schiller
Senior Vice President & General Manager
NYTimes.com

This decision brings up some interesting questions about internet access and what should be available for free on the Web. Though I believe it is important for current information to be as widely available as possible, how are newspapers, like the NY Times, supposed to profit if all news is available for free online and the actual, physical paper becomes obsolete? How should we balance information and profit?

Posted by leslieph at September 19, 2007 03:28 PM

Comments

Login to leave a comment. Create a new account.