Earlier this week the NY Times announced their paywall. In other words, starting March 28 if you are an avid reader of the times (if you read more than 20 articles a month) you will have to pay to read the NY Times. Ultimately I think that this approach is destined to fail.
Let it be known that I completely understand the NY Times' position on this issue. Good content takes a considerable amount of time and money to produce and distribute and those responsible deserve to be adequately compensated. I also sincerely believe that the NY Times needed to do this in order to fund innovation.
That being said, The NY Times' implementation leaves much to be desired. So what exactly did the NY Times do wrong? Here are some of the most glaring inconsistencies
Want unlimited access to NYTimes.com? That'll be $15 every four weeks (no, not every month). Have a smartphone? No problem, that's included. Have a tablet? Sorry, you'll have to shell out another $5. Want unlimited access to everything? That'll be another $15.
As if that wasn't confusing enough, not every visit to the NY Times will count towards the 20 article limit. Here is an exerpt from the official announcement:
". In an effort to reduce losses among the Web site’s more than 30 million monthly readers, The Times will allow access to people who arrive at its Web site through search engines like Google and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. There will, however, be a five-article limit a day for people who visit the site from Google."
In other words, you don't have to pay for a subscirption if you're smart about it.
Will the NY Times paywall ultimately succeed? Only time will tell.