According to Slashdot and the NY Times itself, they now have 300,000 paying subscribers, and most importantly, the paper now has a healthy profit.
This is very interesting – traditional attempts to get people to pay for content, especially content they used to get for free, haven’t worked too well. I am a paying subscriber because they offer high quality content that I can’t find anywhere else. I still read Stuff.co.nz, the NZ Herald, the BBC, the LA Times, the Sydney Morning Herald and a few others, and despite this wide range of providers, the NY Times still stands out.
The lessons here, as I see it, are:
- Offer high-quality, exclusive content
- Make your paywall user friendly – allow people in to browse and don’t have an unreasonable article limit
- If you have a decent value proposition, people are willing to pay money
I just wish they’d let me bulk pay for a whole year in advance – getting billed monthly racks up the foreign exchange conversion charges 🙁