A high profile project to take ad-supported content and put it behind a subscription wall may be headed for the scrap bin, the New York Post reported today.
Citing an unnamed source, the Post says its Metro area competitor The New York Times is about to kill off TimesSelect, a nearly two-year-old initiative by NYT Co. to require Web-only readers to pay $49.95 a year to read its editorial columns and archived content. This one’s still in the unconfirmed bin, but if true, the Times motivation is very much open to debate. Was it the
slight decline in Web-only subscribers this year that spooked the company? (Update: subscribers actually grew from April to June, NYTCo. told PaidContent) Was it the strength in online advertising that motivated it to open up the columns and monetize them through a wider audience? In any case, Tom Friedman and Maureen Dowd and the Times’ other forgotten (to the digerati anyway) Op-ed voices will no doubt be very happy if the rumor proves true.