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Panpa Bulletin : May 2011
The Independent Weekly, now independent of paper. To see how Realview can help you change to digital, visit www.realviewdigital.com With help from Realview, The Independent Weekly is now a digital daily, The Indaily. Moving from print to digital was not only about saving costs for The Indaily, it was about a faster way to build readership, more effective and innovative work-flows and new revenue streams. Altenatively, visit us at Booth 18, Publish Asia 2011, Bangkok, April 27 - 29. DAILY INwww.indaily.com.au BUSINESS PROCESS RE-ENGINEERING FOR NEWSPAPERS ADVERTISING SELF-SERVICE AD PORTALS DIGITAL & PRINT ASSET MGMT FINANCE EDITORIAL WEB CMS Miles 33 - ERP Solutions for Media Companies For more information visit www.miles33.com or call +61 417 205-799 www.panpa.org.au The PANPA Bulletin | MAY 2011 | 1 Another brick in the wall THE Gray Lady has retreated behind her paywall. The New York Times digital sub- scription model has been launched amid a mix of excitement and be- musement after 14 months of plan- ning. Critics are bemused by the Times’ effort because its paywall is no maxi- mum security facility. Casual readers, who would click on fewer than 20 articles a month, will not even notice it. The model is interesting for local publishers, who run a mix of pay and free digital strategies. Titles such as the Singapore Straits Times and Australian Financial Review have run pay models for years. News Ltd has canvassed paywalls for later this year but it has gone a little quiet on the topic. However, it continues to charge A$7.99 a month for the iPad apps of its four state- based flagship newspapers – the Daily Telegraph, Courier-Mail, Herald Sun and Adelaide Advertiser, plus The Australian. APN and West Australian Newspapers are currently content with free models while Fairfax Media, whose previous CEO wanted to go down the pay path once he’d seen what others had done, have announced no plans for The Age or Sydney Morning Herald. An email response to questions from The Bulletin to Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr, reveals why the Times has opted for a light-touch pay model: “We made the decision to keep the paywall porous to retain our large and growing audience, and our influence. “We did not want to be cut off from the digital ecosystem. “While we have no current plans to change the way readers will ac- cess links from outside sources, the system we implemented is designed to be flexible.” Indeed, the Times has cleverly created a system to allow people to enter nytimes.com from links on other sites without charge. Any individual can read five articles a day for free if accessing through sites such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and so on. Another high-profile paywall, developed for News International newspapers in London, such as The Times and The Sun, cannot be ac- cessed in this causal way. They are locked down. The NY Times defends this porous strategy via email, saying there had been “a great deal of interest in our plan”. “We have met with many publish- ers who have expressed interest in learning more about the research and implementation around our model.” Mr Sulzberger brushes off criticism that the paywall should be stronger. He told an audience at The Paley Centre for Media that those seeking free content were “mostly high school kids and people out of work”. The New York Times has been experimenting with various models since 2005. It offered a “Select” service, which included Microsoft Silverlight tech- nology that made digital pages look like the printed page. That failed to capture a viable market, closing after generating only U S$10 million in two years. Company vice-president Vivian Schiller said at the time that “offer- ing unfettered access to New York Times reporting and analysis best serves the interest of our readers, our brand and the long-term vitality of our journalism”. Today, the Times says via email: “Now, in the app-driven world, peo- ple have become more accustomed to paying for high-quality informa- tion.” It has not released any informa- tion on the impact on traffic. Consultant Experian Hitwise believes it has fallen 15 percent. Analyst Heather Dougherty writes: “We compared the total visits to NYTimes.com for a 12-day period before the launch of the paywall, to the 12 days following the launch. “For the majority of the days, there was a decrease in the overall visits between 5 percent and 15 percent. The one exception was Saturday, April 9th when there was a 7 percent increase.” bang for buck: how the New York Times’ online subscription model stacks up price-wise against other digital offerings we did not want to be cut off from the digital ecosystem” “ Sophie Tarr NPA cOST OF cONTENT * amounts monthly unless stated Read the extended e-mail conversation with the New York Times on www.panpa.org.au US$35: Access to NYTimes.com and NYT app for iPad and smart phone app £8: Get thetimes.co.uk, thesundaytimes.co.uk and The Times and The Sunday Times apps for the iPad US$7.99: Check-out TV episodes and films for gaming consoles, iPad, iPhone, and personal computer with Netflix or rival Hulu-Plus US$110 a year: Access econ- omist.com, audio edition of The Economist and apps for iPad and smart phone US$1.99: Access WSJ.com. Its premium products cost more