Saturday, May 16, 2009

Making Your Mind Up or Not?

Apparently by some divine intervention, or stab in the dark, The New York Times will decide by the end of June how to charge content and what content it will charge for. So what are the options that they are considering and what will it mean to their readers the news and the future of the paper?

But in the same week it announced its charging review it also announced that is changing the way it delivers online news to its readers, in rolling out its new Times Reader 2.0 desktop application. The app is built on the Adobe AIR platform, offering a desktop readers news by categories in easy-to-read columns. The important difference will be that the days news is downloaded at the start of the connection , obviating the need to be online to read it. Each section of the paper is represented in the Times Reader 2.0 and appears on the same day it would appear in print. It also provides the user with the opportunity to browser the paper and happen on stories they way they would with the physical paper. It also supports video and crosswords.
The Times Reader 2.0 will be included in the cost of a print subscription. Otherwise, interested readers can download the Adobe AIR application and read the news for a subscription rate of $3.45 per week.

So what about these other options and why the mixed stories. The New York Observer claims that in its report that Executive editor Bill Keller told a staff meeting last week that one includes a "meter system." The user roam freely on the Web site until hitting a predetermined limit of word-count or pageviews, after which after the meter starts and the reader is charged for every movement thereafter. This is obviously fraught with negatives; the user may be prepared to read under the limit then switch off, alternatively set the meter too high and the reader will never pay. The second proposal is a membership to the community. “You write a check, you get a gift and access and join the club. Again how do you plan on such a club having the right appeal for the right numbers to join? It is reported that Kerr said that once the decision is made it may take some time to implement that a pay model may be applied to The Times' mobile Web site first before the Web site as a whole.

So either we have contradicting stories in circulation or NYT is tapping the keyboards whilst Rome burns.

No comments: