Snippets From A Fast-Changing World

An independent observer looks at things differently to someone who is right in the middle.

News International shows digital readership rise

By Salamander Davoudi Published: March 29 2011

The Times and The Sunday Times had a combined total of 79,000 monthly digital subscribers at the end of February, up almost 60 per cent over the past four months, according to unaudited figures released by News International.

The total was up from 50,000 last November and included subscribers to the two newspapers’ digital sites as well as to The Times’ iPad and Kindle editions.…more

The NYT Pay Plan’s Most Dangerous Foe: Perception

Staci D. Kramer Mar 27, 2011

By now, we were supposed to have clarity about how The New York Times will use a meter to create a digital subscription revenue stream. After all, the plan went into effect in Canada March 17 and is supposed to start rolling out in the United States and globally Monday afternoon. We do have details—all-you-can-click social, 20 clicks at NYTimes.com (NYSE: NYT) before direct access is lost, pay plans of $15-$35 every four weeks—but the clearest aspect so far is how hard it is to cut through preconceptions, particularly when flexibility and complexity are involved...more

The newsonomics of Sunday paper/tablet subscriptions

By Ken Doctor

Digital news business models are playing out on pool tables these days. Break the balls and you have no idea where they’re going or how they’ll impact each other. We’ve got paid content models of varying kinds. We’ve got the new combining “free world” of AOL/Huffington Post+ taking aim at the emerging paid world. We’ve got continuing revolutions in advertising models and technologies. We’ve got the knitting together of professional publishing and higher-end “amateur” publishing. And we have the biggest introduction of a digital device, the iPad, that we’ve ever seen, while smartphone adoption continues to create a news-anywhere world. Draw back the pool cue, punch a ball, and new patterns emerge — some planned, many quite unintentional, and maybe a few dramatic in their impact...more

NYT Posts Articles on Twitter; Asks Others Not to Notice

by Erik Sass

Huh?  The New York Times is clearly struggling with the whole social media angle of its new online pay-wall — or rather, trying to have its online cake and eat it too.

On one hand, the NYT wants heavy users to pay for access to online content, shelling out $15 per month for continued access after reading the maximum allowed 20 articles for free; the pay wall is supposed to take effect on March 28 (it’s already up in Canada)...more

Paywall or no paywall, print is still what pays

Peter Preston The Observer, Sunday 20 March 2011

The New York Times’s model for online charging will no doubt be widely copied. But according to one analyst, print will still be providing 86% of UK newspapers’ revenues even in 2017.

So, at long, long last, we have the paywall policy all Americannewspapers – and many others around the globe – have been waiting for. Get the New York Times delivered at home and you receive internet access free. But eschew print and visit the website more than 20 times a month and you’ll be charged $15 or $20 or $35 a month according to the number of bells and whistles (tablets, smartphones etc) you opt for.…more

Europeans Will Pay For Content—Why Are There So Few Compelling Options?

Nick Thomas Forrester ResearchMar 22, 2011

I’m often asked to name companies with a successful paid digital content strategy. It’s harder than it should be to answer that question, especially in Europe.

In news, the FT still heads a small field, along with some B2B publishers while, in music, despite some innovative companies, the digital revenues beyond iTunes are still small...more

Media Buyers Say NYT Advertising May Actually Get A Boost From Paywall

David Kaplan twitter @davidaKaplanMar 18, 2011 11:15 AM ET

Media buyers don’t expect the New York Times’ online ad revenue, which was up double digits last year, to take a hit from the company’s new digital subscription plans. Some even see a scenario where the NYT will be able to charge higher rates—if the newspaper hits the expected number of “heavy users” which may offer proof of “more engaged” readers.

When it comes to digital ad revenue, the NYTCo’s experience has mirrored most major publishers. In Q4, digital adsremained a particular bright side in general, as that segment rose 11.1 percent to $113.2 million. Citing a “volatile ad market,” the company experienced a 7.2 percent drop in print ad dollars...more

New York Times launches online charging

By Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson in New York Published: March 17 2011

The New York Times has launched its long-awaited model for charging for news online, with a “metered” subscription approach that will charge more than some analysts had expected, but ensure that most readers never encounter the paywall.

NYTimes.com will become the largest non-financial newspaper to charge at least some online readers, starting the industry’s most closely watched experiment in whether general interest publications can wean readers off a 15-year habit of finding news online for free...more