Monday, October 01, 2007
FT articles linkable
Newspapers have until now chosen between offering their content free, or charging on a subscription or “pay-per-view” basis. But Ien Cheng, publisher of FT.com, said the site would pioneer a new approach from mid-October. Articles and data will be free to users up to a total of 30 views a month. They will then be asked to subscribe for access to more material.This follows the recent move by the New York Times.
The change would allow bloggers and news aggregators to link to material previously available only to subscribers, Mr Cheng said
The rationale for the change being this:
In addition to opening the entire site to all readers, The Times will also make available its archives from 1987 to the present without charge, as well as those from 1851 to 1922, which are in the public domain. There will be charges for some material from the period 1923 to 1986, and some will be free
Colby Atwood, president of Borrell Associates, a media research firm, said that there have always been reasons to question the pay model for news sites, and that doubts have grown along with Web traffic and online ad revenue.
“The business model for advertising revenue, versus subscriber revenue, is so much more attractive,” he said. “The hybrid model has some potential, but in the long run, the advertising side will dominate.”
In addition, he said, The Times has been especially effective at using information it collects about its online readers to aim ads specifically to them, increasing their value to advertisers