It isn't every day that someone decides to reinvent the wheel, but that's what the New York Times is doing now.
In September, the Times will begin offering "TimesSelect" (note to professional namers: that "sS" is awkward and off-putting), which will be a $49.95 subscription in order to get access to Times opinion pieces. How is this reinventing the wheel?
There's only one major print entity making real money on the web: The Wall Street Journal. The Journal has done this by keeping an absolute zone of protection around its news product: If you want to read the news from the Journal online, you have to pay, and pay dearly (($79 a year). But the Journal long ago decided to give away it's opinion pieces for free. To this end it created OpinionJournal.com.
So the folks at the New York Times Company have surveyed the marketplace, seen everyone else lose their shirts, locked onto the one winner and said to themselves, Hey, let's just use the formula the Journal uses--only backwards! We'll give all the news away, but charge them for the op-eds!
Maybe this will work out for the Times--I hope it does. But I have to wonder why they think they've outsmarted the only winner in the marketplace. TimesSelect has "bust" written all over it.
1 day ago