In Monday's Wall Street Journal, Russell Adams delivers perhaps the most details yet on how the New York Times' forthcoming online metered pay model is supposed to work. There are no earth-shattering revelations , but Adams' reporting seems to confirm last week's news that unlimited access to NYTimes.com, which debuted 15 years ago this past Saturday, will cost less than $20 per month, and that the pay wall will kick in sometime in February.
"Under the new system, expected to be rolled out next month, the Times will sell an Internet-only subscription for unlimited access to the Times site, as well as a broader digital package that bundles the Times online with its application on the iPad, according to a person familiar with the matter. Subscribers to the print edition of the paper will get full online privileges at no additional cost, Times executives have said.
"The person familiar with the matter said the Times has considered charging around $20 a month for the digital bundle and less than half that for the Web-only offering."
The number of free clicks that NYTimes.com readers will be able to deploy each month before being asked to whip out their credit cards, however, remains a mystery, as does a firm launch date. Speaking Sunday at the Digital Life Design conference in Munich, Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. didn't offer up any clues. (See clip above, courtesy of VentureBeat.)
"We are moving, in some period of time, sometime this quarter, to a new model -- a metered model for the Web," said Sulzberger of the Times' plans, noting that the "certain number of [free] page views every month has not yet been made public."
He was less reticent in voicing his confidence in the new model.
"People are showing the willingness to pay for something that they feel is important," he said. "Sometimes, that is quality journalism."