Blueprint Creative Group

Sign of the times? New York Times Charging to Read Online

It was inevitable, and we knew it was coming. Citizen journalism, downsizing, social media takeover, Kindle, less print more digital…it was the sign of the times. A sign that print media was changing and changing fast. With less eyes on print and more online, newspapers and magazines alike had to think fast.

How do we continue being the timely source of news and information while competing with online news and citizen generated news all while remaining profitable? After all, with news paper subscriptions shrinking and advertising dollars diminishing, newspaper executives knew that they had to tap into a new source of revenue generation.

So the shift went from creating digital versions of their content to now ultimately charging for online content. So in essence, “since you’re no longer subscribing to our print versions, we’re going to charge you for eyeballing our content online,” and that’s exactly what New York Times did. Starting today at 2pm EST, New York Times will begin charging online readers for reading extended versions of their content. Non-subscribers will still be able to read free content online but will be limited to 20 articles per month, while loyal readers will pay from $15 to $35 per month to have unrestricted access to online content depending on whether articles are being access via computer, smartphone, tablet, or a combination.

Ultimately, the implications of the revolution of print media are even more convincing why it’s imperative that brands and organizations emphasize non-traditional PR and that public relations professionals should shift from placing the focus on pitching to media and journalists and more on using digital influence to shape and distribute messages. I forecast that this is just the beginning of the revolution of print media, and it’s evident in how media outlets turn to social media to gather their news.

Gone are those days of TV and newspapers being the source of breaking news. These days, you have Twitter and Facebook to thank for that and so does the youth of Egypt who took to these social networks to protest and rally worldwide support for the ousting of Mubarak.