Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bad news for Canadians about "All the News That's Fit to Print" (and to Paywall)


Today is paywall day for the New York Times - at least for Canadians, who are the doubtless ungrateful beta testers to ensure that the paywall will work as intended.

I'm sure that I won't be the first or last to notice that we are the last to get the good news internet rollouts, such as Pandora or Hulu. 

But we are the first for the bad news, it seems. According to The Times:
The 20-article limit begins immediately for readers accessing from Canada, which allows the company time to work out any software issues before the system goes live in the United States and the rest of the world. The prices and other terms will be the same worldwide, and users will be able to pay with credit cards or by PayPal.
The new scheme seems to entail a 20 article per month limit - or five articles per day if the articles are accessed via Google. Nice catch, Google ;-)

It will be interesting to see if this experiment works - or whether people will shift to downloading articles rather than accessing them online for repeat visits. There may even be an increase in exchanging downloaded articles by email  rather than forwarding links - and thus lessening advertising revenue.

Newspapers do have a problem these days.  It remains unclear if paywalls are the solution.

We wish the NY Times well - since it is indispensable in the world of  news, journalism and commentary. We hope that there is a better way than a paywall to ensure its survival. I seem to recall that the NY Times did this before - and had to backtrack.

Anyway, speaking of Pandora - the very popular internet radio service unavailable at all in Canada - it is doing something about engaging here. Let's see if  it can can afford the Canadian collective system, which often imposes multiple tariffs for the same transaction involving essentially the same rights owners, each with its own separate valuation  and expensive hearing process from the Copyright Board. Here's Pandora's recent application to intervene at the Copyright Board. 


No comments:

Post a Comment