The New York Times will soon stop charging a fee to access parts of its web site.
I am hoping small town newspapers such as our own Sanford Herald will get on board with this. Advertising, though shaky at times, is still the best way to generate revenue according to many experts. If you are in online newspaper ad sales, do you want to go to a possible advertiser and say, "I have (insert small number here) paid subscribers to the online edition?" Or do you want to say, "I have (insert larger number here) reading the online edition?"
“But our projections for growth on that paid subscriber base were low, compared to the growth of online advertising,” said Vivian L. Schiller, senior vice president and general manager of the site, NYTimes.com.
What changed, The Times said, was that many more readers started coming to the site from search engines and links on other sites instead of coming directly to NYTimes.com.
Was this a new revelation or have then been stewing on this epiphany for some time?
Whatever the case, I know that I for one would be accessing the online edition of The Herald 6-days a week rather than my current low rate of access were it to become free. All the while subscribing to the nice, shiny, new printed edition.