The integration of the Internet, mobile technologies, and social networking has created this expectation for on-demand news. It’s also expanded the notion of authorship, and to some extent, conditioned us into believing that online content should be free (at least when it comes to the exchange of information). Traditional news media has struggled to find its footing in this market of content saturated messaging. And in its latest attempt in trying to resurrect the flagging print industry, the New York Times made an announcement that it will now start charging its online readers for reading more than 20 articles a month.
Beginning March 28, this new pricing model will let readers who wish to have access to more content purchase digital subscription packages that start at $15 for four weeks access. Print subscribers will have full-access. The new pricing model has already been implemented in Canada. The news has generated a mixed reaction–some readers are willing to pay for what they deem quality content, and a majority have threatened to boycott, not happy about having to pay for content that has always been free.
What will happen if other major publications start to follow suit? How does this pay-per-read model affect accessibility? And if all professional news publications start to follow this trend, will our news diet start to rely more heavily on informal news sites and blogs? If the New York Times is successful in repositioning its online business model, this could mark a major change in how content is used and valued on the Internet.