New York Times figures it out

Quote: The New York Times will stop charging for access to parts of its Web site, effective at midnight Tuesday night reflecting a growing view in the industry that subscription fees cannot outweigh the potential ad revenue from increased traffic on a free site. “In addition to opening the entire site to all readers, The Times will also make available its archives from 1987 to the present without charge, as well as those from 1851 to 1922, which are in the public domain.”

Staci Kramer at Paidcontent.org has more details, including what still won’t be free, including the premium crossword service.

My prediction: The WSJ.com will also open to the huddled masses yearning to surf free by January 1.

Related: I am sending out a request to Doc Searls to blog on this topic. And I wish he’d gloat and say, “Why didn’t you people listen to me three years ago?” But, then, Doc is not one to gloat.

Later: From Jeff Jarvis comes this, “TimesSelect represented the last gasp of the circulation mentality of news media, the belief that surely consumers would continue to pay for content even as the internet commodified news and — more important — even as the internet revealed that the real value in media is not owning and controlling content or distribution but enabling conversation.”

  • http://www.fixinsupper.com lcreekmo

    This makes my day! Since I’m a home subscriber, I’ve always had access to Times Select, but I’ve also always thought it was one of the dumbest business moves EVER. Their columnists are such hot commodities…why on earth would you put them behind a cost wall when they have the potential to drive so much traffic? Slap an ad up in front of those puppies!

    And, I’ll second your comment on WSJ.com. I sure as heck hope so. I can’t imagine that Rupert Murdoch will have any trouble figuring out how to monetize the hell out of that website, no subscription required.

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  • Hudge

    It was annoying as hell to get those $$ roadblox. Maybe in 5 or 6 years, Gannett will figure it out too.

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