I like reading the NY Times online. Their quality of journalism is certainly higher than most others. Since they have moved to a 20 articles free per month limit I’ve been thinking about exactly how much I like the times. Enough to actually pay for the content?
I think the answer to that question is yes, but as a marketer I can’t help think of a few methods the NY Times could use to drive up their revenues in addition to the subscription model. Another model would be sharing. I already share a lot of NYT articles on twitter because they’re interesting. In addition to me perusing their site and absorbing ad-impressions, my sharing activity drives more visitors back to their property who in turn read, see ads and also share…and that’s a value to the NY Times, feeding into their advertising revenue model. I think there could be a viable advocacy system here where non-paying readers can earn additional free articles each month by sharing. This could be gamed, but there are likely a number of checkpoints the NY Times could install to prevent abuse. Especially if they leverage their existing login/share platform – Times People.
So if you are listening, NY Times execs, this enhanced freemium approach could be worth looking into to.