The Newsonomics of The New York Times’ Paywalls 2.0

By: Ken Doctor | Nieman Journalism Lab

Listen to Mark Thompson and you hear echoes of early 2011.

“We have the theory. We’ve done the research. We’ve done the modeling,” the New York Times Co. CEO told me last week. “Then there’s reality.” 

Thompson, as intense and self-assured as many Times people often describe, punches at the air to make that last point. The new reality he is outlining will roll into existence in the second quarter of 2014. The Times will furiously break new company (and industry) ground with at least three new Paywalls 2.0 paid digital products and, at some point, a new “premium” tier. Within the Times building, teams of editorial, business and tech staff are shaping those new products. If it succeeds, the Pied Piper of the paywall revolution — having led the march that more than 40 percent of the U.S. newspaper industry is now following — will be leading a merrier band toward more new revenue.

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