FishbowlNY told you last week that the Times will be charging about $20 a month for full access to its website, and now a report from the Wall Street Journal sheds a little more light on the subject.
Russell Adams mostly rehashes what’s already known about the paywall in his piece, but then there’s this:
Times Co. executives say people who arrive through search engines like Google won’t be blocked from viewing the first page of a search result regardless of how many visits they’ve made. The openness of the system has raised questions inside and outside the Times about whether the paper is making it too easy to avoid paying.
Yeah, that little problem of search engines.
The Times can try all it wants, but it’s too late for a paywall. It’s not going to work. The paper should just focus on making the website better and increasing online ad revenue. The Times missed the boat on charging for online access when it first started its website 15 years ago. It’s hard to blame the paper because back in 1996 the Internet was in its infancy and people somehow thought listening to The Wallflowers was an okay thing to do, but the damage is done. No one will pay for online access to the Times, so the paper should just scrap the whole idea.