Tomorrow’s the day: NYT ill-advised paywall debuts in U.S.

Monday marks the rollout of NYTimes.com’s “metered paywall,” which I wrote about (and criticized) here last week (before going on vacation for a week). Here are a few quick developments and additional thoughts about what is an important milestone in the digital-news space: What do you think of the NYT paywall? Tell Columbia researchers! Columbia…

Consumer Reports gets it right (*finally)

* at least on the smartphone platform ConsumerReports.org is the classic example of a once-primarily print publisher having content valuable and unique enough that it can charge for it online. The site for years has had a subscription model, with a monthly or annual fee to access its product reviews. I subscribed for a while,…

iPhone app business models improving

Recently, I’ve been noticing new iPhone apps coming to market that are adopting interesting business models. Generally, they can be categorized as using the “freemium” (or semi-freemium) model; i.e., they give away some valuable content and entice you to upgrade for more and better features. 1. This American Life iPhone app. … This app costs…

Investigative reporting = premium paid content?

Within reports of MediaNews Group about to institute a metered paywall at a couple of its newspapers by May is something disturbing. This excerpt is from a Bloomberg report about the newspaper chain’s plans: “The newspapers, in York, Pennsylvania, and Chico, California, will give users free access to as many as 25 ‘premium’ articles monthly,…

NYTimes.com’s decision: Preliminary thoughts

So the long-awaited (well, at least by many of us media geeks) decision by NYTimes.com has been announced. And the winner is: THE METERED PAYWALL! According to the Times’ own report, by Richard Perez-Pena: “Starting in early 2011, visitors to NYTimes.com will get a certain number of articles free every month before being asked to…

If NYTimes.com does put up a metered wall…

“New York Times Ready to Charge Online Readers,” said NYMag.com’s Daily Intel in a Sunday report. I’m not sure whether to believe the story or not, but since there’s no definitive word from NYT executives yet, let’s play along and pretend this is an accurate report: NYTimes.com this spring will launch a “metered” web payment…

A better Newsday.com model

I’ve been getting some pushback on my previous blog item about Newsday’s decision to put up a subscription wall to its website content except for Newsday print subscribers and subscribers of Optimum Online cable/Internet service (same ownership). This actually is a good business model for Newsday because of its unique position, though it probably could…

Newsday’s pay wall: From bad to worse

What’s wrong with this webpage I encountered the other day? Besides the lack of wisdom of a general-interest newspaper (Newsday) putting a pay wall on its website for non-unique content (my opinion, shared by many other media experts), the worse part is that Newsday.com is leaving money behind. Double-dumb. Here’s my experience: I saw a…

The Times’ (UK one) smart membership experiment

Frankly, I’m surprised that it’s The Times and the Sunday Times that have initiated the closest to what I’ve advocated in the past in terms of a smart, voluntary news premium membership model online. If you haven’t seen it, check out Times+. Why my surprise? Well, if you’ve followed recent coverage of Rupert Murdoch, whose…

Instead of micro-payments, what about micro-rewards?

Earlier this week, Jeff Reifman of Newscloud wrote an essay, “How Micro-payments Could Save Journalism,” which he says was inspired by most recent Editor & Publisher column, “Your News Content Is Worth Zero to Digital Consumers.” (I’m a bit slow to respond due to a busy work week.) Reifman wrote: “I disagree with the premise…

SaveTheNews Denver report: Discussing the commercial solutions

SaveTheNews.org‘s first big public meeting of journalists and community members (September 16) — strategically planned for the U.S. city at ground zero for the “News Crisis,” Denver — was clearly a success in sounding the alarm about the decline of serious public-interest journalism. Six months ago, the city lost one of its two major daily…