Pay It Ain’t So

The web just cuts right to the chase. is the name of the site where I found this snippet about the New York Times’ new idea for fighting the neverending battle against revenue shrink, called TimesSelect, where you will have to pay to read their op-ed and some of their columnists.

“Gordon Crovitz, EVP-electronic publishing, Dow Jones: “This is an important step in showing that publishers with respected brands and strong content now recognize that subscription revenues are just as important online as they have always been in print. We’ve never understood why other publishers would give away valued brands and content in one medium, while charging in another medium.

More than 730,000 subscribers now pay to access the Wall Street Journal Online, which should encourage other publishers to charge online just as they do in print.”

The Grey Lady has also figured out another clever revenue stream…it’s vast news archives.

“On the archives: Initially, the archives will go back only to 1980 but eventually to 1851. The delay in full access is due to technical issues. Nisenholtz does not see this as competition for commercial databases Lexis-Nexis, Factiva, etc. He describes it as a “consumer” archives for looking up recipes or single articles, “not a highly robust research tool.”

He sees this as a major draw. “We’re doing something people have wanted for a decade, which is to open up the archive. Now you can pay us $50 a year and have seamless access to the most valuable archive on the web.”