Today, The New York Times announced details of its new paywall, which hits Canada today and everyone else March 28. Print subscribers will get access with their subscription, but for the rest of the online community, perusing the Grey Lady’s content could cost you if you’re a regular reader (i.e. more than 20 stories per month).
There are, of course, workarounds and ways to game a paywall system, and they will be working out the kinks. (This isn’t, after all, NYT.com’s first foray into charging for online access). But on first glance, it appears the NYT is taking a middle of the road approach that will allow the casual reader to surf in and read their content without disruption, while gaining revenue from the daily and heavy readers who stick around. Whether this renewed attempt at a paywall works and actually succeeds at convincing people to change their mood about paying for online content or not will be watched closely as more papers and chains nationwide look for ways to recover their news-producing costs.
Read on to see how this new paywall stacks up to two other large newspapers with paywalls in place, the Wall Street Journal and Newsday.
To see that spreadsheet full size, click here. Or read the same information below.
News organization: The New York Times
Free articles? Yes, up to 20 articles each month, plus browsing the section fronts and reading articles linked from websites and search engines (up to unspecified limit)
Limit on free content? 20 articles/ videos/ features per month
Print subscriber benefits? Yes, any print home delivery subscription includes free online access on the web and devices — for now.
Print subscription cost: Daily $5.85/week OR Friday-Sunday $3.80/week OR Saturday-Sunday $3.15/week OR Monday-Friday $3.10/week
All-you-can-read online cost: NYT.com + smartphone apps $15/four weeks OR NYT.com + tablet app $20/four weeks OR NYT.com + apps $35/four weeks
Bundle print/online cost: NYT.com/apps included in print subscription
News organization: Wall Street Journal
Free articles? Yes, but some top stories and features require paid online account to access more than the lede. These are marked by a key icon.
Limit on free content? Some stories/features require paid account
Print subscriber benefits? Sort of. It’s cheaper to bundle online and print together than separately buy both, but online is not included in print subscription.
Print subscription cost: $2.29/week (for first year, then $6.99)
All-you-can-read online cost: $1.99/week (for first year, then $2.99)
Bundle print/online cost: $2.69/week (for first year, then $8.49)
News organization: Newsday
Free articles? No. To read beyond the lede, you need to sign up.
Limit on free content? Yes.
Print subscriber benefits? Yes, for print subscribers and Optimum Online (internet provider) users, there’s no additional cost to access.
Print subscription cost: Daily $5.99/week OR Sunday $2/week
All-you-can-read online cost: $5/week (for first 8 weeks)
Bundle print/online cost: Newsday.com included with print subscription/ broadband through preferred provider
Note: Subscription costs/availability may vary by zipcode (sometimes a lot when you’re outside the local area). When applicable, these figures are based on a Long Island zip code. These fees are also for new subscribers starting today. Some online promo codes and corporate or student discounts may be available, but they aren’t reflected here.
Sources: Subscribe pages/FAQs at NYT.com, WSJ.com, Newsday.com as of March 17, 2011