News should be free. Opinion should be free. The Web should be free. This is America. (“Feel free” is our marketing mantra at Zude.) Here’s some good news. At midnight tonight The New York Times is going to make free a good deal of the content it once charged for under its Times Select program.
Once again Nicholas Kristof’s Op-Ed pieces will be free. As will those of Thomas Friedman and David Brooks.
The advertising vs. subscription model continues to favor advertising. The Times earned $10 million last year in online subscriptions, yet still realizes the potential of the online advertising model. Search engines help drive 13 million unique visitors to NY Times.com and all but 750,000 may be turned away if they want to dig deeper into the site.
Are you listening Wall Street Journal. I expect you will roll-over within 2 months. And I can’t wait.