They referred to the New York Times and how it charged for online access to the work of its columnists and to the newspaperâ€™s archives (what it perceived as premium content).
Overnight the New York Times abandoned this model in favour of free access to all its content.
Mark Evans has looked at the numbers and shows how free could make financial sense:
TimesSelect was an pretty interesting experiment that attracted about 227,000 subscribers and $10-million in annual revenue. But the growth clearly wasnâ€™t there to justify the status quo…
Letâ€™s assume, about 20% of the NYTâ€™s content was behind the walled garden. Now that itâ€™s free, the NYT could added another 2.6 million unique visitors. Letâ€™s assume, the average online NYT reader consumes a healthy 20 pages/month. This would give us 52 million more page views a month.
If you can generate $20/CPM per Web page from these additional page views, thatâ€™s $1-million of revenue per month or about $12-million a year
Anyone want to put a bet on how long before the Irish Times changes its model to entirely free? This lifetime? The next lifetime? Not in a million years?