The New York Times Ends Online Subscription Fees

By John McCormick Print this article Print

The paper makes all content on its Web site available free of charge.

The New York Times has made all content on its Web site free. For the past two years the publication has been charging $7.95 a month—$49.95 a year—for access to TimesSelect, a walled-off area of its site that featured access to the Times' archives and to popular columnists such as Maureen Dowd and Thomas L. Friedman.

The Times said it made the move because the online model had changed, with users increasingly coming to its site via search engines. The publication said the revenue generated from increased page views would offset the loss of online subscriptions. A story in last week's Times said TimesSelect generated about $10 million a year in revenue.

"TimesSelect brought new commentary and voices to the site, as well as an influx of subscription revenue," said Vivian Schiller, senior vice president and general manager of NYTimes.com, in a statement. "But the increasing dominance of search and other forms of referral have changed the equation. Allowing unfettered, free access to our opinion content and recent archives should enable us to drive readership and advertising."

The Times said it had about 787,400 active TimesSelect subscribers, including 227,000 who paid for the service. The paper's 471,200 home-delivery subscribers received TimesSelect free of charge; another 89,200 received it for free on college campuses through an offering called TimesSelect University.

This article was originally published on 2007-09-24
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