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New York Times setzt (erneut) auf Bezahlschranke

März 17th, 2011 · 32 Comments · digitales Publizieren, Economics, Journalismus, Publizieren, Social Media, Verlage

Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., Herausgeber der The New York Times, kündigt in einem „Brief an unsere Leser“ an, dass die Times von heute an wieder hinter einer Bezahlschranke verschwinden wird. Zuerst in Kanada, damit die Times „das Kundenerlebnis feiner abstimmen kann“ („will enable us to fine-tune the customer experience“ – auch die NYT ist sich leider längst nicht mehr für dieses Brechreiz hervorrufende PR-Gefasel zu schade), bevor dann am 28. März alle Leser weltweit zur Kasse gebeten bzw. ausgesperrt werden, sobald sie mehr als eine bestimmte Anzahl Artikel gelesen haben. Das bedeutet:

  • Auf der Website NYTimes.com kann man pro Monat 20 Artikel kostenlos lesen (das beinhaltet Slideshows, Videos und andere Inhalte). Danach muss man „digitaler Abonnent“ werden und zahlen.
  • Auf den Smartphone- und Tablet-Apps wird die „Top News“-Rubrik kostenfrei bleiben. Für alle anderen Inhalte muss man „digitaler Abonnent“ werden.
  • Alle, die ein Printabo der NYT oder der International Herald Tribune haben, lesen weiter das komplette Angebot kostenfrei.
  • Leser, die durch Links bei Suchmaschinen, Blogs und Social Media wie Facebook und Twitter zu einem Artikel kommen, können ihn weiterhin lesen, auch wenn sie bereits ihr Kontingent ausgeschöpft haben. Bei einigen Suchmaschinen wird es ein tägliches Kontingent an Artikeln geben, auf die man über die Suchmaschine zugreifen kann.
  • Die Startseite und alle Ressortseiten werden kostenfrei lesbar bleiben.

Drei Gedanken dazu:

1. Es wird spannend sein zu sehen, ob ein Angebot, das auch im Web wirklich einflussreich und gut gemacht ist, seine Leser davon überzeugen kann, für Inhalte zu bezahlen. Der letzte Versuch, Leser davon zu überzeugen, war 2007 gründlich gescheitert. Seitdem ist eine Menge geschehen, aber die Diskussion darüber, ob die Nutzer bereit sind, für Inhalte zu zahlen, ist genauso wenig ausgemacht wie damals.

2. Die Differenziertheit, mit der die NYT Inhalte anbietet (z.B. für Nutzer von Social Networks die Artikel weiter lesbar zu halten), zeugt einerseits davon, wie gut die Times die Dynamiken des Webs verstanden hat. Auf der anderen Seite beruht das Modell dadurch auf einer Art Soli-Prinzip, denn viele Leser werden die Artikel, die sie wirklich dringend lesen wollen, weiter lesen können – z.B. indem sie den Umweg über eine Suchmaschine oder Twitter gehen. Sulzberger schreibt  denn auch in seiner Begründung:

Das ist ein wichtiger Schritt, von dem ich hoffe, dass die Leser ihn als eine Investition in die Times sehen – ein Schritt, der unsere Möglichkeiten stärken wird, allen Lesern weltweit auf allen Plattformen hochqualitativen Journalismus anzubieten.

Aber getroffen werden natürlich genau die Stammleser:

Der Umbau wir in erster Linie diejenigen betreffen, die die Inhalte der Times sehr stark nutzen.

Ob gerade diese Stammleser das gut finden und sich so solidarisch zeigen, wie Sulzberger sich das wünscht, ist der spannende, aber auch heikle Kern des Experiments.

3. Wie ausgefeilt ist die Technik? Wenn allein über IP-Adresse und/oder Cookies bestimmt wird, wie viele Artikel bereits gelesen wurden, ist die Kontingentierung leicht zu umgehen. Ich wüsste im Moment nicht, wie es anders funktionieren sollte. Das ist zwar dennoch nervig und aufwändig, aber wann werden die ersten Tools erhältlich sein, die einen die NYT vollständig kostenlos lesen lassen, ohne sich um den Krams selbst kümmern zu müssen? Am 28. März?

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32 Comments so far ↓

  • ralf schwartz

    Oder so: „How To Read The New York Times Online For Free“ http://ow.ly/4gygY

  • Matthias Spielkamp

    @ ralf schwartz: Ja, so hab ich es mir gedacht. Was ich meinte: Wann gibt es das erste Firefox-Add-On, das beim Klick auf die Headline alles selber macht und mir den Artikel auch noch bei ReadItLater einträgt?

  • ralf schwartz

    Ja, ich weiß. Nur lesen muß man dann immer noch.
    Eine Einspeisung wie in der Matrix wäre ganz nett.

  • Medial Digital» Linktipps Neu » Linktipps zum Wochenstart: Optionen an der Bezahlmauer

    […] Matthias Spielkamp fragt sich: “Wie ausgefeilt ist die Technik? Wenn allein über IP-Adresse und/oder Cookies bestimmt wird, wie viele Artikel bereits gelesen wurden, ist die Kontingentierung leicht zu umgehen. […] Wann werden die ersten Tools erhältlich sein, die einen die NYT vollständig kostenlos lesen lassen, ohne sich um den Krams selbst kümmern zu müssen? Am 28. März?“ […]

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