New York Times Paywall Essay

1080 WordsMar 30, 20145 Pages
Problem Statement and Overview The birth of the Internet has brought about many challenges for a lot of mainstream media to adapt in order to survive the shift, especially within the newspaper industry. Struggling to revise their format, The New York Times adopted a device-specific and metered paywall that allowed users to read up to 20 of their web articles monthly at no cost. The front page remained free to all users at all times. On the iOS device’s app, the “Top News” was free and all other content required a paid subscription. Whether or not this paywall format would bring in enough revenue to compensate for the loss of advertising revenue and if it attract new subscribers still remained in question. Given the constant growth of the competitive landscape, The Times needs to change the pricing of their paywall and lower the allotted free articles per month in order to remain viable in the market. They also need to focus on increasing digital advertisement revenue to create a new, lucrative balance between advertising and subscription revenue. To attract a new generation of subscribers, The Times should focus on their digital format being their primary source while using the paper copy to supplement it. Product Pricing for Digital Subscription Subscription cost for the paywall is currently more than double the preceding competitor’s subscription fee (Exhibit 1). Users can get all access to The Times’ digital platforms (NYTimes.com + Smartphone + Tablet) for $8.75 per week, which adds up to about $455 per year. As blogger Michael De Gusta points out, news seekers could get “20+ free articles/month from The Times plus The Wall Street Journal ($207/year) plus The Economist ($110/year) plus say The Daily ($39/year) for good measure, and still having ~$100 left over each year.” Despite the steady increase in paid subscribers since March 2011, The New

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