Reply To: UAS Management – Case #2

  • DeletedUser

    April 29, 2021 at 4:04 pm

    1. Is the paywall working?

    The numbers presented in the case study seem to indicate that the paywall is indeed working, at least for the New York Times. For the past several years of data that was available, there was a steady decline in print subscribers, and a steady increase in online readership. More importantly, there’s a steady increase in the amount of subscribed readers for the online content. However, the most recent data for net income/loss shows the newest data (2011) in the red. Now that it’s 2021 and the New York Times is still in business and still has a paywall, then it must be working out for them. In the age of the Internet when you can piece together a story by reading half a dozen articles from publications with half a dozen different takes on the same story all for free, it is a silly proposition to pay a monthly subscription to a single news company for their “premium” articles. There are many other reputable news sources out there that will offer similar coverage. With many more news companies on the Internet adopting paywalls, it has also become possible to kite around between news sites that feature a paywall without paying for any one of them, as long as they offer a certain number of articles for free.

    1. Why are newspapers in trouble? What is the goal of the Times in creating the paywall?

    Newspapers are in trouble because of the rise of the Internet. Not only is an enormous physical piece of paper less convenient and portable to potential readers than a tablet or a smartphone, but the content of that newspaper itself has been divided up in to different services. For instance, the most popular classified ad service on the Internet is not operated by a newspaper, and neither are job listings. The downfall of printed media is due to the disruption to their platform that the advent of the Internet brought to the world. News organizations now have to become focused solely on their articles now, because many of the other services that were offered in the papers previously have moved online to a different platform. There is still advertising in online news articles, but the revenue from that alone is not enough to keep newspapers afloat in their current form. The New York Times created their paywall in order to recapture a monthly subscription fee from readers in order to keep their business model profitable while they are hemorrhaging print subscribers and other revenue associated with a printed newspaper.

    4. Should the Times actively manage to transition from print to digital?

    The New York Times should manage to successfully transition from a printed format to a digital format. Today their website is still going strong. It is also highly unlikely that a news organization would succeed in 2021 with a print-only format. However, until the subscribers who still appreciate a printed newspaper have all died out, it will likely make sense to continue publishing the newspaper in a printed format , as it’s likely still profitable. The printing equipment by this point should have all been paid for long ago, and they’re printing less papers as time goes on, which should decrease their overhead costs. In order to have staying power, the Times will have to re-evaluate their subscription fee on a yearly basis in order to fine-tune and optimize their number of paying readers. It makes sense to continue with a certain number of free articles per reader per month, because otherwise it would be difficult to generate interest in a “premium product” without first giving out “free samples”. Additionally, these free page views are not entirely a loss for the Times. Each page view generates ad revenue for them. In my opinion, online news stories should be free, and the publisher should re-structure its organization in order to adapt to an ad-revenue only model. This would guarantee longevity in the current climate, but there is always the temptation of greater profits by implementing a well-balanced paywall. The question that remains in my mind is whether the majority of online subscribers were previously print subscribers who bought an iPad, or if they are first-time Times subscribers. If it is the former, then the Times will inevitably be forced to ditch their paywall.