New York Times Site to Get Paid Model in 2011

The New York Times announced that it would introduce a paid model on its industry leading Web site, following recent reports in New York magazine and elsewhere that the newspaper was leaning towards a metered approach to create a new revenue stream.
 
The Times said that at the beginning of 2011 it would offer users a set number of articles for free each month on NYTimes.com, after which users would be charged. Print subscribers will continue to have free access to the site.
 
“This process of rethinking our business model has also been driven by our desire to achieve additional revenue diversity that will make us less susceptible to the inevitable economic cycles,” said Janet L. Robinson, president and chief executive officer of The Times Co. “We were also guided by the fact that our news and information are being featured in an increasingly broad range of end-user devices and services, and our pricing plans and policies must reflect this vision.”
 
The Times didn’t say how many articles users would be able to access for free or how much it would charge after the limit is met. But it claimed that the solution would create new revenue while keeping its advertising business, seeming to assume that the metered solution wouldn’t lead to a falloff in audience.
 
This isn’t the first time the Times has dabbled with pay models. In 2007, it ended its TimesSelect program, which charged for online access to columnists and archives, after two years.
 
In adopting a meter model, the Times is following in the footsteps of The Financial Times. A second approach is that taken by The Wall Street Journal, which walls off some parts of its site to subscribers only.