New York Times Paywall Case Essay

2741 Words Jan 7th, 2013 11 Pages
Amanda Ferguson
Kim Jauch

Case Analysis – The New York Times Paywall
Situation
The New York Times, as well as every other newspaper and magazine around the world, is struggling to find the best way to transition from traditional print to the digital space while still maintaining a profitable business. The current solution for the largest local metropolitan newspaper in the United States is a paywall, which requires readers of online content to pay for a digital subscription in order to have access to the site after a fixed monthly allowance of 20 articles. However, this pay metered method has been tried by the most popular American newspaper website before and the question is whether or not this strategy can help The Times evolve
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Paywalls can also increase print subscriptions. For example, some newspapers have offered subscription prices that provide digital-only access for the same or lower than for digital and print in order to increase online revenues, print circulation and thus print ad revenue.

Opportunity is the key word for the newspaper industry right now. According to experts, neither digital advertisement revenues nor paywall subscriptions are the answer. Innovation needs to be present in order to define the future of the industry. For example, some added value needs to be present to merit the payment for content that was previously free or can be found using numerous substitute products free of charge.
Competitive Strengths and Weaknesses
The New York Times has a strong brand presence, name and equity in the United States. According to Michael Hirschorn, contributing editor at the Atlantic, “You really can trace almost any major story these days to something that originally appeared in The Times. The problem is that once it reaches the public, they may not even know it came from The Times.” Readers of The New York Times are extremely loyal as well. A daily issue is priced at $2.50 compared to $2.00 for the Wall Street Journal and $1.00 for USA Today. In addition, within nine months, 390,000 consumers have subscribed to www.nytimes.com for a premium price of approximately $4.00 a week [Table B] and 70% of print subscribers have taken…