'New York Times' vs. 'The Stir': Which Would You Pay For?

new york timesThe answer to the above question is obviously The Stir, right? But don't worry: It's still free. (Wish we could say the same for the former.)

Today The New York Times announced a new pricing plan for its website beginning at the end of March -- $15 to $35 a month for readers who click on more than 20 articles a month. According to the Times, the new digital subscriptions will generate revenue to help "strengthen [their] ability to provide high-quality journalism to readers around the world and on any platform." But will they lose readers in the process?

Such is the dilemma in charging for online content ...


Even if you don't read the Times, it's still a question you would do well to consider (especially if the Times' pricing plan model is adopted by other publications, which industry experts are saying is going to happen): How much are you willing to pay for online content -- if at all?

Here are some instances in which I'm willing to pay for online content:

1. If the content is considerably better than current free content found anywhere else. In other words, can I get the same information in the same format somewhere else? Another way to look at it: Will I be able to exist intellectually without access to the amazing information found in a particular publication? In this case of the Times -- and, it goes without saying, The Stir -- I would argue no. Therefore, I would definitely pay for this online content.

2. If the content is an essential part of my normal routine. Again, for me, the Times and The Stir are good examples here, because reading their content is something I do every day. Another example is Cook's Illustrated (which requires readers to buy subscriptions because it doesn't run ads). There would be a noticeable hole in my daily routine without these three publications. Therefore, I am more than willing to pay for content. (Thankfully, only two of them are charging for content.)

Do you think we should pay for online content?


Image via ilamont.com/Flickr

Read More >