Wow its not like iPad users can't use the NY Times Reader website? wait they can't thats actually an adobe air app with flash. Oh well at least computer users and folks who have other tablets can use that.
I'm certain there will be a general paywall app coming for everyone. The iPad is simply first in line due to its popularity and market dominance.
Why oh why would anyone pay for this when you can easily get everything in the paper and more for free?
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the real question is who pays for old new these days? All the new sites are free and are current day.
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Because, as more and more newspapers start trying to work with paywalls, the availability of free news could decrease significantly. The Internet is not a place where non-local news content is spontaneously generated. Everyone, blogger or journalist, reads, reports, gives analysis if appropriate.
If you love the NYT, you'll pay for it. Under the NYT's system, if you just happen to cruise in every so often, you'll be able to see what you want to see. Visit often enough, and you won't be able to read what you want to until some time has passed. If that bothers you enough, you'll pay for the privilege.
This idea that information is just going to be free in the future assumes that the newspapers (and possibly TV stations) won't move in the same direction.
Here's what a lot of people don't seem to understand: The news industry is dying. We say "newspapers," because those are the areas hardest hit for now, but technologies like GoogleTV could do the same thing to TV advertising. People love to hate advertising, but it's advertising that pays for the content you're reading online or in print. With newspaper subscription rates falling like rocks, businesses *have* to find a way pay for themselves or die. Advertising space on the Internet isn't worth 1/20th of what advertising space is worth on paper, which means traditional journalism outlets have to find ways to finance their own transitions.
The fact is, if people don't pay one way or another, we journalists don't get paid. If we don't get paid, we can't work. I'm not arguing that paywalls are a great solution--maybe they aren't a long-term solution at all--but making smug remarks about information wanting to be free ignores the long-term result that we all go out of business.
Bloggers are a joke. There's no web journalism site that packs the punch of the New York Times (an it's not the only powerful newspaper). I'll admit that I hate paywalls as much as anyone but that doesn't change the fact that journalists need a guaranteed revenue stream to do their jobs. Ad sales at 1/100 of a cent per every 1,000 impressions don't cover the costs of a foreign journalism department, or a six month investigation into Chicago's corrupt city government.
The more in-depth and widespread the coverage, the bigger ones resources have to be.
You say "Advertising space on the Internet isn't worth 1/20th of what advertising space is worth on paper" Why is that so? Do you mean "worth" or the "price of"? Has print advertising been over-priced compared to its value?" After all the message is the message. And look at how Google has been able to tailor its advertising.
There is probably more web traffic to (good) newspaper sites than there has ever been readers of the paper versions: I have never bought the NY Times in Australia but can go there easily and regularly now. And electronic advertising can be made more valuable with all sorts of value adding features once the agencies get their heads around what is technically possible.
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