“Save the New York Times” round-up

In Norway newspapers call on the state to save them (again), in the US it’s the “enlightened philanthropists” that must come to the rescue? In an op-ed in the Times, two Yale executives propose a US university-style endowment of 5 Billion dollars (!). That should be enough to fund the around 200 Million dollars that the newsgathering costs per year.

PJNet’s Leonard Witt thinks it’s a better idea to make the newsroom into a a “cooperative trust owned by its readers as it eases into the online world”.

Everyone seems to have ideas for the NYT, suddenly. When Murdoch bought the WSJ, it was thought that he would make the subscriber based website free. But it hasn’t happened. Now Henry Blodget thinks that the NYT should consider copying the WSJ’s current model, what he calls a “hybrid subscription-free” business:

” * Many news stories are available for free at WSJ.com every day. So much so that the site’s direct, non-subscriber traffic is meaningful and impressive.

* ALL of the WSJ’s content is indexed by, and available through, Google and other search engines. Most people don’t understand this, but it is critically important. The WSJ’s paid content is NOT hidden behind a firewall. It is available for free, all over the web, on a story by story basis.

* Many sites have deals with the WSJ where they can link to WSJ’s content and have their readers read it for free. This encourages bloggers and other publications to include the WSJ in the conversation economy.

* The only WSJ content that web searchers and readers CANNOT access are the full navigation pages of WSJ.com. Put differently, only subscribers can read The Wall Street Journal. Non-subscribers have to settle for reading the occasional Wall Street Journal story when they happen to encounter it.”

Blodget plays around with the numbers: if the NYT could get “only” 750.000 subscribers paying 80 dollars, that would be 60 Million in revenue.

One thought on ““Save the New York Times” round-up

  1. I tend to agree with the commenters that point out that Blodget supports his idea with one data point, and not one that is all that comparable to NYT. WSJs product and target audience is probably too different from NYT for the model to be applicable. Which is not to say that I don’t think newspapers can develop services customers are willing to pay for. I just don’t see how making it harder to click through from the front page is going to drive general newsreaders to pay when there are so many first-rate alternatives.

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