Will Charging Readers for Access Save Newspapers?

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If TavisOnline.com started charging readers to view content on this site, would any of you loyal readers still visit?  Many readers would likely just move on to another free news source.  That reality raises another question.  If a major newspaper such as the New York times decided to charge readers for online content, would their readers pay?

The lesson I learned even in high school Journalism class was that advertisements keep newspapers running, not paper sales.  Nevertheless, most print publications still charge a small fee, and the NY Times is apparently not raking in enough money in online advertising to cover their decline in print ad revenue.

Will web users, who already consider themselves to have paid for access to the Internet, actually pay a monthly fee to read an online newspaper, in an age when bloggers and Twitter users often break stories long before newspapers can go through the editing process?  That remains to be seen.

NY Times will charge $15 per month for its smartphone app, $20 per month for its tablet and Google Chrome apps, and $35 per month for an “all digital access” unlimited subscription to NYTimes.com and all of the apps.  In addition print subscribers will continue to receive unlimited online access.

NYTimes.com will allow non-subscribers to read up to 20 pieces per month before its “paywall” presents them with a subscription offer.  That includes videos, slideshows, and articles.  Readers will also have a limit of 5 articles per day from the newspaper’s website or links from Google.

As far as I know, our readers can rest assured that this site will remain free, but those of you who insist on subscribing can send monthly payments directly to my PayPal account.  No?  It was worth a try.

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