Wednesday, March 21, 2012
The New York Times couldn't bridge the distance to pay per view of its content, so it started slow-motion training of its readers a year ago. It was 20 articles per month free. Now it is 10. What do you want to bet that in a year or two it will be five then each time? From a PR point of view, this phase-in makes sense. It lowers consumer resistance and it slowly builds subscription readership. The Times has 454,000 subscribers now for its online product. It won't be long before the Times is primarily an online medium. The question still facing the company is whether a paid online model will bring in enough revenue to offset loss of advertising from the print product. The company isn't out of the woods yet. From a PR perspective, a healthy online subscription base is a positive. It provides greater reach and the same editorial credibility.