Searching for the NY Times: Wired.com’s Media Hack columnist, Adam Peneberg searches for the reason why the NYT rarely shows up high in Google searches. Bottom line: registration required and cost-wall archive.
New York Times Digital earns most of its money from a pre-existing agreement with Lexis-Nexis, which brings in more than $20 million a year. This year, NYTD will report a profit of about $25 million. Without this Lexis-Nexis bounty, however, the color of the ink on its digital balance sheet would run decidedly more gray than black. So it’s no surprise that Times management has no plans to completely open up its archive. “There isn’t a compelling business argument today that would suggest that giving away our content is a good idea,” (NYT Digital president Martin) Nisenholtz said. Even though the Lexis-Nexis deal is an all-you-can-eat model — not based on usage — the Times can ill afford to undermine its relationship with such an important customer. It simply can’t charge Lexis-Nexis tens of millions of dollars while giving away the same content free over the Web.