NEW YORK OBSERVER: In late October, Newsday, the Long Island daily that the Dolans bought for $650 million, put its web site, newsday.com, behind a pay wall. The paper was one of the first non-business newspapers to take the plunge by putting up a pay wall, so in media circles it has been followed with interest. Could its fate be a sign of what others, including The New York Times, might expect? So, three months later, how many people have signed up to pay $5 a week, or $260 a year, to get unfettered access to newsday.com? The answer: 35 people. As in fewer than three dozen. As in a decent-sized elementary-school class. MORE
ALL THINGS DIGITAL: As PaidContent notes, Cablevision can also argue that the real idea behind the pay wall is that it’s supposed to make existing subscribers feel like they’re getting something of real value (advertisers too, supposedly). But it’s hard to argue that online access is a “value-add” if only 35 people value it. It’s also hard to argue that Cablevision’s problems offer any clue about the prospects of the New York Times’s (NYT) coming pay wall. Because the Times is a different beast from any other paper in the country. I would be interested, though, in learning how the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune did with “Access Vikings Premium,” a $20-a-year pay wall it put up around most stories about the home team last season. MORE
THE ATLANTIC: The New York Times will start charging for news in 2011 by capping the number of free articles readers can access. But there could be a loophole. Nicholas Carr passes this along:
Essentially, it appears that if you come to a Times article via a link, either on the Web or in an email, you will get to read the whole article, and the article won’t count against your monthly limit of articles.
Leaks? Hardly. For shrewd readers, this is more like building a wall, and then carving out a door that says PUSH HERE. If Carr is right about this plan, then the same way savvy readers get around the Wall Street Journal paywall by pasting the WSJ headline in a search box and pressing ENTER, prolific readers will get around the NYT paywall by going in horizontally — through blogs, emails and other links. MORE
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