Times May End TimesSelect Fees

Posted on August 7, 2007

TimesSelectThe Globe and Mail is reporting that the New York Times Co. will eventually stop charging for TimesSelect, a fee-based section its website at nytimes.com.
The New York Times Co. plans to stop charging Internet users for access to its columnists and Op-Ed pieces on a section of its Web site known as TimesSelect, The New York Post reported on Tuesday.

The Post, citing a source briefed on the matter, said a decision had been made by top Times executives. The timing of when the service would become free depends on technical issues, including revamping the software surrounding that section of the NYTimes.com site, according to the Post report.

A Times spokesman would not comment on the report, but said: "We continue to evaluate the best approach for NYTimes.com."

TimesSelect Web-only subscribers rose to more than 224,500 in June, the last month for which the company had data, from about 220,000 in April. Subscribers to the print edition of The New York Times also have access to the service.
With only about 225,000 subscribers it might be more logical for the New York Times to open this section up to the public. It will both increase traffic and provide more advertising revenues. The Times writers locked behind this fee-based wall are probably eager for more readers.