Will the New York Times paywall affect the power of their reviews?

We all knew it was coming.

The parent company of the NY Times has been bleeding money for years.  Putting the online version of the paper behind a paywall was inevitable.

And now it’s a reality.

I received an email from Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the Publisher of The New York Times, last Friday, informing me that the Times was introducing the “digital subscription” which would limit the access to articles on NYTimes.com if you were not a hard paper subscriber.

However, The Times is no dummy, and at first glance it seems they have chosen to adopt a more liberal policy for the casual reader then some of the other Paywalls out there (poor Linda Weiner at Newsday – I love her stuff – but haven’t read it since she got tossed behind the Wall).

Here are some of the highlights of The Times new accessibility policies:

  • You can read 20 articles a month at no charge.
  • On smartphones and ipads apps, you can only read Top News.  Everything else is behind the wall.
  • Readers who click a link on a blog or other site that directs to a Times article will have access to that article, even if they are already at their 20 article/month cap.

So the big question is . . . if you’re a NYTimes.com reader but not a subscriber to the paper, will the above change your reading habits?  Will you pay if you read more than 20/month?

And what does all of this mean for theater features and reviews?

Everyone who studies consumer behavior knows that the moment you add a price tag to something, you’re going to lose people, no matter how minor the increase.

Even if you went from free to $1, the quantity of your customers is going to drop.

That has to mean less of a reach, right?

So many questions . . .which means it must be time for a poll!!!

Click below to answer a 3 question survey about whether or not you’ll read a review behind a paywall.

Results will be published a week from today!

Click here to take the survey!

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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.