Sunday, 23 September 2007

Without pay wall, will NYT rely more on ads

It is great news that New York Times has freed its online content. There is no doubt that the move would definitely drive far more traffic to NYT website, and would greatly boost the ad revenue of the newspaper, which could make up for the loss of subscription revenue.

The NYT move has earned lots of positive comments from various quarters, given that this is in line with a cliche: information likes to be free. Some went further by arguing that some other papers like Wall Stree Journal and FT could follow suit.

However, I have to put in some critical words here. The Times said that it decided to free the online content because the online ad growth will outpace the growth of the subscription revenue. But one of the dangers for this move is that the NYT will become much more reliant on advertisements. In consequence, one of the possibilities is that NYT could be more influenced by business, and become more obedient to the will of market.

My argument is that a hybrid business model would always emulate a single business model. So far, NYT could get revenue from both subscription and adverstisment, among others. That could enhance NYT's ability for independence and put itself in a stronger position to respond to change of circumstances like the economic recession.

So it is like two sides of a coin. There is both pro and con here for NYT abandoning the pay wall. I don't oppose to its latest move, since I would be one of the beneficiaries as well, but thinking from their stand of point, I argue that NYT could have gone too far at one go. I would prefer that it frees the content in a selective way, otherwise it will have to face another challenge: overreliance on advertisment.

1 comment:

Mercy said...

Good for people to know.