In the future, news junkies may be willing to pay a subscription fee to get their fix, but judging by what’s happening over at Long Island’s Newsday newspaper, that time has not come. According to The New York Observer, after three months, only 35 people had signed up to have full access to newsday.com for $260 a year. This depressing result may say more about Newsday’s website than about the idea of putting content behind a pay wall. —KA
The New York Observer:
The web site redesign and relaunch cost the Dolans $4 million, according to Mr. Jimenez. With those 35 people, they’ve grossed about $9,000.
In that time, without question, web traffic has begun to plummet, and, certainly, advertising will follow as well.
Of course, there are a few caveats. Anyone who has a newspaper subscription is allowed free access; anyone who has Optimum Cable, which is owned by the Dolans and Cablevision, also gets it free. Newsday representatives claim that 75 percent of Long Island either has a subscription or Optimum Cable.
“We’re the freebie newsletter that comes with your HBO,” sniffed one Newsday reporter.
Mr. Jimenez was in no mood to apologize. “That’s 35 more than I would have thought it would have been,” said Mr. Jimenez to the assembled staff, according to five interviews with Newsday staffers.
Newsday’s home page as it appeared Tuesday.