According to this Bloomberg report:
Times Co. is considering paid subscriptions on devices including Apple Inc.’s iPhone because they allow for less advertising than the Web, Martin Nisenholtz said in an interview today in New York following a speech. The publisher hasn’t yet determined whether or how to charge for access to its sites, he said.
“Mobile offers a better opportunity for paid content,” Nisenholtz said in his remarks. “For publishers to offer their content for free in the mobile platform forever without getting paid very much money, I don’t think it’s going to be tenable.”
I would agree that it will be easier to charge for mobile than to put the genie back in the bottle with online content. There is now an opportunity with OS 3.0 to charge for an ongoing subscription on the iPhone. The question is how to present that to users and how much to charge.
The free online version of the paper is an enemy of a paid mobile app. Indeed, beyond the PC itself there’s always the online version that users could access via the browser on their mobile devices. This logic would seemingly dictate that a paid mobile strategy would need to be pursued in tandem with one online.