New York Times Ends TimesSelect
Posted on September 17, 2007
The New York Times is taking its TimesSelect service free. This comes as no surprise because it was reported several weeks ago that it might happen. There will be no more monthly or annual fees from TimesSelect starting on Wednesday. The Times is also making its archives free dating back to 1987. The New York Times' motivation behind freeing up these sections and archives is simply to increase traffic so they can sell more ads.
Reuters reports that TimesSelect generated about $10 million in revenue a year. The Times will have a $10 million annual revenue drop from ending TimesSelect to contend with but they should be able to make it up if they receive a big enough traffic boost from the freed content. Reuters said that Times said in a statement that they are expecting a "substantially increased number of unique users referred to and accessing the site."
Paid Content reports that TimesSelect closed with "787,400 active subscribers: approximately 471,200 home delivery subscribers, 227,000 online-only paid subs, and 89,200 free academic subscriptions." Jeff Jarvis at BuzzMachine says that TimesSelect "represented the last gasp of the circulation mentality of news media." That is likely true. How far away can a free Wall Street Journal and Financial Times be? Here is the story about TimesSelect's termination from the Times itself. The newspaper also published a letter to readers about the end of TimesSelect.