The New York Times is developing a new metered paywall structure for its online news portal that will put a cap on the number of stories non-subscribed readers can view per day. This move has generated considerable discussion in the blogosphere with many wondering if this new paywall would deter bloggers from linking to the NY Times’ content. However, the newspaper’s spokeswoman has clarified that readers who are referred from third party sites such as blogs will be able to access content without hitting their limit, which probably means that only those who directly open the New York Times home page in their browser will trigger the paywall, initiating the daily limit count for them.
Read Write Web, which reported on the story, does not seem too confident of this paywall technology. It says
This seems like a pretty significant loophole that would make it fairly simple to get around the paywall once it goes up. If I want to read a specific story on the Times’ homepage after I’ve hit my limit, I can simply search for that story on Google or Twitter search and get around the wall via an outside link from another site.
The Times seems to be focused on monetizing the users that browse their webpage for content on a frequent basis, rather than those that arrive from other sites. So while the key to the front door only works a few times each day, the windows on the side of the house are wide open.
Image by Joe Shlabotnik