So Long New York Times, It Was Nice Knowing You!

Look what just showed up in my email box.

Dear New York Times Reader,

Today marks a significant transition for The New York Times as we introduce digital subscriptions. It’s an important step that we hope you will see as an investment in The Times, one that will strengthen our ability to provide high-quality journalism to readers around the world and on any platform. The change will primarily affect those who are heavy consumers of the content on our Web site and on mobile applications.

This change comes in two stages. Today, we are rolling out digital subscriptions to our readers in Canada, which will enable us to fine-tune the customer experience before our global launch. On March 28, we will begin offering digital subscriptions in the U.S. and the rest of the world.

If you are a home delivery subscriber of The New York Times, you will continue to have full and free access to our news, information, opinion and the rest of our rich offerings on your computer, smartphone and tablet. International Herald Tribune subscribers will also receive free access to NYTimes.com.

If you are not a home delivery subscriber, you will have free access up to a defined reading limit. If you exceed that limit, you will be asked to become a digital subscriber.

This is how it will work, and what it means for you:

On NYTimes.com, you can view 20 articles each month at no charge (including slide shows, videos and other features). After 20 articles, we will ask you to become a digital subscriber, with full access to our site.

On our smartphone and tablet apps, the Top News section will remain free of charge. For access to all other sections within the apps, we will ask you to become a digital subscriber.

The Times is offering three digital subscription packages that allow you to choose from a variety of devices (computer, smartphone, tablet). More information about these plans is available at nytimes.com/access.

Again, all New York Times home delivery subscribers will receive free access to NYTimes.com and to all content on our apps. If you are a home delivery subscriber, go to homedelivery.nytimes.com to sign up for free access.

Readers who come to Times articles through links from search, blogs and social media like Facebook and Twitter will be able to read those articles, even if they have reached their monthly reading limit. For some search engines, users will have a daily limit of free links to Times articles.

The home page at NYTimes.com and all section fronts will remain free to browse for all users at all times.
For more information, go to nytimes.com/digitalfaq.

Thank you for reading The New York Times, in all its forms.

Sincerely,

Arthur Sulzberger Jr.
Publisher, The New York Times
Chairman, The New York Times Company

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10 Comments

  1. Ashraf Ali says:

    Wait, what’s the problem with paying for good value content? I mean, I personally don’t mind shelling $15.00 for the NYTimes because their quality content really pushes the envelop of journalism. I understand there is quality journalism for free in several sources on the web by the NYTimes also gives me a great fix. Why not reward the company and the content creators subsequently?

  2. Thomas Hawk says:

    too much other good/better content out there without having to pay for it.

  3. Bob Boyd says:

    I agree. It’s a hard transition for an institution like the NY Times and I think they’ve done it too late. IMO, their model should be a free site that sells ads. They need to think of the website as the copy of the paper being passed around the coffee shop throughout the day. Unfortunately, when web viewers are presented with the option to buy, they will most likely look elsewhere and find a new source for the information within seconds.

  4. Rob-L says:

    I guess they’re not making enough advertising revenue online, so they’re going to stick it to their readers. I’d pay about $25 a year, but $15 a month is too much.

  5. Denny Wells says:

    I don’t have specific numbers, but I’m sure they can take a radical drop in readership and still make more money as a subscribed service than as an ad-supported service. At least in the short run.

    Most interesting to me – they have 3 proposed prices, and all involve mobile apps. No web-only pricing option. Hmmm.

  6. Bud Gibson says:

    What I’m Kind of amazed at is that you have to pay more to access from an ipad than from a cell. I might have gone for this at $100/year. I’ll see what their special offer is.

  7. Kris Miller says:

    So you want them to publish the newspaper online for free?

    Are you as generous with your business?

  8. Thomas Hawk says:

    Kris, the information that the NY Times publishes isn’t worth $15 per month to me (nor I’m betting 99.9% of the population).

    In terms of my own publishing interests (at thomashawk.com) I don’t get $15 per month either from anyone. I do make a bit of money here and there from ads though.

  9. Thomas Hawk says:

    Bud that is crazy.

  10. Bud Gibson says:

    I’ve noted that you hit $420/year for iPad access. I’m prepared to spend 1/4 of that for full access across any device.