UPDATE: A Time spokesperson has told Nieman Lab that Time is implementing a strategy to allow readers to buy articles online. An on-site paywall, then, does appear to be in the works.
Time is restricting online access to articles from its print edition, but isn’t exactly putting up a paywall like the ones found at The Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times.
The magazine caused something of a stir among media pundits today when Nieman Journalism Lab and others noticed that many of the magazine’s online stories had been truncated, with an accompanying note: “The following is an abridged version of an article that appears in the July 12, 2010 print and iPad editions of Time.” (Here’s an example.)
Last night, Nieman Lab’s Joshua Benton speculated that a paywall may be in the works. Not so, says paidContent’s Staci Kramer:
Readers can’t pay by the story or buy a daypass or any of those options folks like Steve Brill and Gordon Crovitz dangle as possible moneymakers. No way to get full access as a print subscriber, even with an added fee. Without a digital subscription offering, that means the only way to read the full magazine electronically is pay $4.99 a week for the single-copy iPad edition.
Peter Kaplan at AllThingsDigital has confirmed with the magazine that the move is not an experiment, and that other titles may soon follow suit and put up similar walls. A Time Inc. spokesperson told Kaplan that it’s part of an overall strategy to keep print material from the magazines off the Internet.
We’ve contacted a Time Inc. spokesperson to find out more. We’ll update when we hear back.