According to the NY Post, the NY Times is abandoning its mildly controversial TimesSelect program. The program, which cost $49.95 per year, gated certain types of content including op-ed columnists, archives and other features. It had been criticized by some as going in the opposite direction of online content publishers.
NY Times publisher Aurther Shulzberger Jr. had been an advocate of the program as a compromise between the print subscription model and the free online ad-supported model. The program had been responsible for some modest revenue growth and had several hundred thousand subscribers but the jury was still out on its future — until now apparently.
The loss of traffic to pages that could provide ad impressions may have trumped the potential for future subscription revenue. Similarly, under the the forthcoming ownership of News Corp., many believe that the WSJ will open up its content.
Related: PaidContent says the Times told them there is nothing to announce and impliedly contradicted the Post’s report.