The New York Times is considering making its internet site a pay service. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
From the Business Week article:
The New York Times, like all print publications, faces a quandary. A majority of the paper's readership now views the paper online, but the company still derives 90% of its revenues from newspapering.
The New York Times really does face a big problem, because paying subscribers will keep converting to free internet readers. Why pay money when you can read the same articles for free?
The Wall Street Journal also charges money, but there's a big difference. The Wall Street Journal has unique content that can't be read anywhere else. The New York Times mostly contains the same news that you can read at any other news site. Yes, people consider the New York Times to be the very best U.S. newspaper. But is it really so much better than everything else that enough people will pay for it?
If the New York Times website becomes a pay service, bloggers will stop linking to it and its reputation for being the newspaper of record will decline. I already prefer to link to the Washington Post (which observant readers of my blog know) because Washington Post articles stay online longer.