UPDATE 4/4/11 (Original post was April 2, at 1:40pm.)
The NY Times has an introductory special for full access to the NY Times website and applicable devices: 99¢ for your first 4 weeks.
Some had already used up their 20/mo. quota already and were waiting for Amazon and the NYTimes to get the processes working for the NYTimes on Kindle-Edition option (which may take a few weeks before it's ready) so that they could get the NYT's web access that goes with the Kindle plan which isn't currently available. This is key for existing Kindle subscribers and works for all the digital device plans being offered right now.
For KINDLE (no choice shown yet), I chose the smartphone app and it worked, as we don't need provide a smartphone model or install the app.
However, you are charged 99 cents and then you give Authorization for them to take autopayments near your due dates. You can cancel and get refunds or credits and stop the subscription. I used Paypal. Some won't want to give such authorizations though. However, I want my regular full access until I can decide what I want to do next month.
This was seen by Caddis Nymph of the Amazon Kindle forums, and I finally found it on the Times site.
The original posting
When the New York Times site started charging, at the end of March, for access to the news website after 20 articles have been selected for reading in a month, they announced that full-access would be given to people who are either print subscribers or mobile-phone subscribers, and online columnists wondered aloud why e-readers were not also included for a combo deal.
Within only a few hours, the Times website was changed to show that Kindle-Edition subscribers will also get full access to the new pay web-version of the New York Times.
However, Amazon says it will keep in touch with subscribers on how it's proceeding during the next few weeks. So it looks to be awhile before the access kicks in.
There is no current option for the Nook, Kobe, or Sony e-readers.
The plan for web-access + mobile phone access is
$15 every 4 weeks (rather than every month).
The plan for web-access + iPad access is $20 per month.
The plan for access to all 3 types is $35.
In the meantime, I explored the situation because I had taken the 60-day trial-subcription recently for the Kindle Edition and it is the one national paper I -might- subscribe to (in Kindle format) because their articles are so thorough and well written (otherwise I just go get the Sunday Kindle editions which are easily more than worth it), but I decided I couldn't justify $19.99/mo. and said so in the feedback I gave. While we've been able read the text-only versions via the Kindle web browser, that won't be possible either, with the paywall as a barrier after 20 website-article accesses in a month.
NYT's first Paywall effort and this one - the differences
The last time the NY Times tried a paywall, they did not allow access to the popular editorial writers' columns and that didn't go over well. When something is wholly off-limits (and previously was not), people tend to be resentful and resistant, so people found ways around it, with people getting the articles and emailing them to large lists of people. So, that experiment failed.
This time, they've left the full paper available to all, up to 20 articles accessed in a month, with other access possible and expected.
The smart thing they've done is to allow further access to articles if you read them via a link from Facebook or Twitter. Digital Faq wording from their help pages:
' Readers who come to Times articles through links from search engines, blogs and social media will be able to read those articles, even if they have reached their monthly reading limit...On all major search engines, users will have a daily limit on free links to Times articles. [!]
Here are a few examples of "section fronts":
Politics | Arts | Opinion
And here are some examples of "blog fronts":
Well | Bits | City Room '
For nonsubscribers, articles from their archives from 1923 through 1986 are $3.50 each, and views of archived articles outside that date range are free alhough they would still count toward the 20-article monthly limit for free access. Subscribers get full access to the archives too..
Digital-only subscribers to The Times can create only one account (with one e-mail address and password). I'm not including pricing information for print subscribers, because the focus here is what Kindle subscribers will get.
The NYT subscription options include unlimited access to NYTimes.com on any computer and on NYTimes apps for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android smartphones, as well as iPad tablets.
BUT, they have no digital subscription to only the NYTimes. It's always a part of a package, with smartphone apps, the iPad, or the Kindle.
Re the flexibility this time -- To the question below, the New York Times's responses to some questions (emphases mine) :
' Can I still access NYTimes.com articles through Facebook, Twitter, search engines or my blog?
We encourage links from Facebook, Twitter, search engines, blogs and social media.
When you visit NYTimes.com through a link from one of these channels, that article (or video, slide show, etc.) will count toward your monthly limit of 20 free articles, but you will still be able to view it even if you've already read your 20 free articles. '
BUT access to the web-NYT articles through Search Engines involves somewhat tougher rules:
' Like other external links, links from *search engine* results will count toward your monthly limit. If you have reached your monthly limit, you'll have a daily limit of 5 free articles through a given search engine. This limit applies to the majority of search engines. '
Interesting theory about the flexibility
allfacebook.com reports some theories on why the Times is giving Facebook and Twitter links unlimited access while click-throughs from links using a search engine like Google are limited to only 5 per day.
' According to Matt Rosoff from Business Insider, the Times sees a clear traffic pattern, where social networking sites are driving “a ton of newspaper traffic.” MG Siegler at TechCrunch basically shares the same opinion, but adds an interesting nuance: Because people who use Facebook and Twitter to access news are usually younger, tech savvy, and are used to getting information at no cost, the NYT is trying to preserve that relationship with those users… at least for now. '
Their last FAQ point is this:
' Subscribers to The New York Times on Kindle will receive full access to NYTimes.com. We are currently working through the technical requirements to verify Kindle subscriber accounts and offer access. More information will be available soon.
At this time, we're not able to connect other e-reader subscriptions to an NYTimes.com subscription. Each must be purchased separately. '
So, the upshot is that the $19.99/mo. for a Kindle subscription to The NY Times becomes somewhat more attractive to those who enjoy that newspaper, with the unhindered access to the new NYT website included now.
Why the NYT is trying a paywall again
Like other U.S. newspapers, the NYT is losing money, with less print advertising revenue, falling circulation and readers going to to the Web for their news. This has been documented.
Some might enjoy the article from The Onion on this situation.
Reaction to the new NY Times plans?
I haven't seen much reaction to the New York plans this time, probably due to the flexibility mentioned. And I've not noticed forum threads on the New York Times inclusion of the Kindle edition.
I'd like to read any thoughts some of you may have on this one. In this climate, many may feel a national newspaper subscription is a luxury. Some will find it worthwhile. It's a gamble for the NYTimes.
And if they succeed in this plan the way they have implemented it, will other newspapers decide they want to do this too? Would other newspaper sites attract as many subscribers as the NY Times might? I doubt it. It's staid but it is incredibly thorough.
Does bundling it to the Kindle make it more attractive? It does for me, but it's only because I've become convinced The NYT has to do something to stay viable and I like that they've given free access to 20 articles a month and, in essence, unlimited access for those who will depend on getting stories from others linking to their NYT stories from places like Facebook and Twitter (although it's been said the NYT will not be supporting blog or webpages created just to hold NYT links).
Also, Google searches will get you another 5 a day, and then so would bing.com and blekko.com ...
Many of my friends forward New York Times articles for private e-mail group discussions of stories (ostensibly maybe not part of NYT and news-reader agreements, but reality enters here) and say it's the one paper they might find worth a subscription. Some are thinking of finding a way to share a subscription by chipping in to be able to keep discussions going instead of finding links at Facebook.
But I'm interested in the thoughts of others reading this blog article. It's a bit of a sea change, for one thing.
Kindle 3's (UK: Kindle 3's), DX Graphite
Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources. Top 100 free bestsellers.
UK-Only: recently published non-classics, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.
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