Time magazine entices readers with an all-access fee and discourages non-subscribers with a paywall
Time magazine is offering fans of its editorial product a carrot — one price — to access print, digital and Web versions of the magazine while also carrying a stick — a paywall — that prevents non-subscribers from reading articles online until three months after the magazine appears on newsstands, Reuters reports.
For $30 a year starting July 21, Time will offer access to its magazine, website and app versions. But, The Wall Street Journal reports, some news consumers may not realize that Time is also erecting a paywall that in effect places a three-month delay on Time's editorial product for non-subscribers.
Also being offered are a one-week rate of $4.95 to read Time.com and a monthly "all access" rate of $2.99 for the print, Web and digital versions. The odd discrepancy between the weekly and monthly rates, Mashable.com reports, reflects the $4.95 street price for the weekly news magazine.
One media observer is not impressed with Time's paywall plans. Noah Davis, writing for the Business Insider, said most of the content on Time.com is not found in the magazine and at some point access will be free to everyone. "If I'm a reader who is used to being able to read virtually anything on the site, and I suddenly run into an article I can't read, it's not going to make me subscribe; it's just going to make me angry," Davis said. "This half-solution is 100 percent wrong. It's not going to work."
Time will also join 150 other publications like The Associated Press and Salon on Float, a new service created by Scribd that will charge a single fee for access to all participating publishers' content, The New York Times reports.
CNN also unveiled its live video streaming on July 18 but it too will cost viewers, according to a GigaOm story carried by Reuters. To watch the live news feeds viewers must have a pay TV subscription.
The New York Times saw its page views drop by nearly 25 percent after it erected a paywall in March while in April Jim Moroney III, publisher of The Dallas Morning News, defended his newspaper's adoption of a paywall, saying the revenue was crucial to continue paying for public service journalism.