'New York Times' Rushes To Shore Up Pay Wall Model


A little over a month before The New York Times' new pay wall for online content is set to debut, the newspaper publisher is rushing to iron out technical glitches in the system for administering paid access to the Web site, according to Bloomberg, which reported that NYTCO has already fixed 500 problems revealed by tests -- but still has about 200 more to go before the pay wall is ready for rollout.  

The NYT pay wall has previously been described by NYTCO execs as a hybrid system that would allow most users to continue reading some content for free. Heavy users would be asked to pay for some content after reading a certain number of articles. Bloomberg cited a person familiar with the tests as saying the glitches included determining who has to pay for which content, as well as how many articles a person can view before they have to start paying.



That suggests the "glitches" aren't necessarily minor problems, but relate to the core functionality of the pay wall.

The pay wall -- the result of a $40 million to $50 million investment -- is still scheduled to go live in March of this year, according to the same report.

However, NYTCO faces an uphill battle in getting readers to pay for online content, following a decade in which most newspapers (including the Times) gave away almost all their content for free. The main exception to this rule, The Wall Street Journal, enjoys a somewhat unique role as a provider of high-value business information.

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