Paid Content bei der New York Times

This is a bet, to a certain degree, on where we think the Web is going. This is not going to be something that is going to change the financial dynamics overnight.

Mit diesen Worten wird der New York Times-Verleger Arthur Sulzberger Jr. in der Ankündigung des Verlages zitiert, ab 2011 ein Bezahlsystem im Netz etablieren zu wollen. Die Idee dabei:

Starting in early 2011, visitors to will get a certain number of articles free every month before being asked to pay a flat fee for unlimited access. Subscribers to the newspaper’s print edition will receive full access to the site.

Update: VentureBeat geht der Frage nach: Will The New York Times meter kill traffic from social media? und bei Poynter kann man nachlesen, wie der Verlag die Mitarbeiter über diesen Schritt informiert hat. Darin sprechen die Entscheider von einem „second revenue stream“:

We are doing so because we believe that a second revenue stream will be an important part of our future. While digital advertising will continue to be the major contributor to our success on the Web, we expect that online subscription revenue will improve our ability to grow an important part of this business.

Man hat offenbar verstanden, dass ein Paid-Content-Modell die oft beklagte Umsonst-Kultur nicht ersetzen wird. In dem internen Memo heißt es weiter:

We also selected the metered model because (…) it allows to remain a vibrant part of the search-driven Web, which has proven to be an integral reason for why we have become an industry leader in display advertising.

Erstaunlich finde ich zudem, dass in der Ankündigung vor allem Wert auf die Umsetzung und weniger auf die Idee an sich gelegt wird. Nicht dass man Paid Content versucht ist wichtig, sondern dass es richtig umgesetzt wird:

Ultimately, we recognize that the success of our ideas will be judged by how well we execute this effort in the months to come. That is why we are waiting until 2011 to introduce this new system. To pursue this new approach requires that we utilize the full energy and intellect of all of you. All that work begins today. As we said earlier, our goal is to create the best possible user experience, integrating many of our customer management systems throughout the Company. It will take time to get this right.

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