New York Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy confirmed by email that the news organization is suspending its paywall starting this afternoon, so that readers can get information about Hurricane Sandy.
“The gateway has been removed from the entire site and all apps. The plan is to keep it that way until the weather emergency is over,” Murphy said.
With the paywall in place, only digital and/or print subscribers can read beyond 10 articles. The Times suspended its paywall last year when Hurricane Irene threatened New York.
According to its third quarter earnings report released this past week, the Times has about 566,000 digital subscribers to nytimes.com and the International Herald Tribune. But thousands more will be closely following the storm as severe weather typically brings traffic surges to news websites.
Wall Street Journal Digital Network Managing Editor Raju Narisetti tweeted Sunday afternoon that all of wsj.com would be freely available starting Monday. Other newspapers have made similar announcements: The Boston Globe tweets its storm coverage is available free on Boston.com; The Baltimore Sun is dropping its wall; Newsday is also making its content available for free.
FJP: Stay safe all, and happy reading.
Will the paywall result in a single new reader coming to the New York Times? That seems unlikely at best. While it’s not impossible that someone might suddenly decide to pay for the paper despite not being a regular reader, it seems more likely that the people currently paying are die-hard NYT fans. And that’s great — although the comparison Salmon makes to a museum might cut a little close to home — but it’s hardly a forward-facing digital strategy, as I’ve argued in the past (and others have argued as well).
Read the whole article at GigaOm
Join the discussion, let us know what you think about the NYT paywall or just paywalls in general!