The New York Times has abandoned its premium content service, Times Select. As of today, visitors to nytimes.com have access to all content on the site. The Times Select service gave subscribers access to works from Times columnists and the newspaper’s archives. Some industry observers believe the move is in response to the possibility that the new owner of The Wall Street Journal, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., plans to open access to wsj.com in the near future.
The decision to open access to NY Times content reflects two things. First, a cornerstone of the internet’s popularity is access to information. Any distributor of information that attempts to restrict access through selling subscriptions risks driving people to other web sites where they can access info at no charge. Second, increased traffic that will come from open access to content makes sites like nytimes.com more attractive to advertisers. The result will be enhanced advertising revenues that ultimately could more than offset subscription revenues that are being given up. Link