The economics of web subscriptions

Are you impressed that TimesSelect has attracted "approximately" 135,000 paying customers?** At $45 a head (halfway between the introductory price and the regular price) that’s $6.1 million. Bigger than Arianna! But if someone–say, Richard Mellon Scaife–had come along a year ago and offered the NYT $6.1 million to radically limit the reach of its (largely) liberal columnists, would the paper have taken the deal? … P.S.: And is the future subscriber trajectory really up, up, up, as the Times’ columnists fade as personalities on the Web and get replaced by other, freer popular writers? …

That is from Mickey Kaus.


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