Wednesday, January 27, 2010
In late October, Newsday, the Long Island daily that the Dolans bought for $650 million, put its website, Newsday.com, behind a pay wall. The paper was one of the first non-business newspapers to take the plunge by putting up a pay wall. Could its fate be a sign of what others, including The New York Times, might expect?
So, three months later, how many people have signed up to pay $5 a week, or $260 a year, to get unfettered access to Newsday.com? The answer: 35 people. An astounding flop, by any measure.
The New York Times tried to shake down its readers once before with TimesSelect, a subscription service which forced readers to pay to access the columns of the paper’s most popular writers. It too flopped.
When will these dead tree dailies realize the only solution to generate revenue is to increase advertising fees?