Beginning sometime next year, the Times will allow free access to a limited number of articles each month and charge users who exceed the number. This model keeps the Times linked to the searchable Internet while capitalizing on the depth of their content. According to Robinson, it takes inspiration from non-news websites which share the Times‘ combination of broad appeal and in-depth information, like Weight Watchers and Consumer Reports. Both sites have successfully turned free visitors into paying customers.
In light of the comparison, the construction of Times Topics now seems particularly cunning.
The Times will announce the new prices for “metered” online subscriptions, mobile apps, and home delivery as soon as January.
But the real news here is that Janet Robinson is hilarious:
Asked whether the New York Times would consider launching a newspaper specifically designed for tablets, as News Corp is planning to do with The Daily next year, Robinson said: “We have a superior daily. We call it the New York Times.”