New York Times Chairman plans paywall

Arthur Sulzberger, speaking at the Financial Times Digital Media conference on Wednesday, said the plans to charge readers accessing the NY Times website, are still on track. He said that full details will be revealed in the near future. Sulzberger spoke confidently about keeping hold of online readers and increasing their advertising income.

“We’re not looking at a massive drop in traffic. By having a metered model you’re still allowing people to engage with your journalism when they’re not deep loyalists. We’re allowing people to share and we’re still going to make advertising dollars out of that.”

He also announced plans to charge for their i-Pad app. “The iPad app is a spectacular, great experience. But we can no longer have that being free”. The spectre of Apple looms large over applications and their 30% cut of subscriptions revenue  through the i-Pad. Steve Jobs released a statement last month trumpeting their subscription charges for magazines and newspapers.

“Our philosophy is simple – when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30% share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100% and Apple earns nothing.”

Sulzberger countered this by saying: “We have our relationship with Apple – which I’m not going to get into the specifics of – but welcome to the world of news stands. We’ve had news stands for hundreds of years, they’ve always taken a cut of sales – this is not new.”

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