Thursday, September 27, 2007

TimesSelect is dead

In case you, like I, missed it last week, the New York Times has killed off its subscriber service and will stop charging for access to parts of its website.

"In addition to opening the entire site to all readers, The Times will also make available its archives from 1987 to the present without charge, as well as those from 1851 to 1922, which are in the public domain. There will be charges for some material from the period 1923 to 1986, and some will be free," the Times announced.

Blogger Jeff Jarvis writes: "It was a cynical act doomed from the start. With it goes any hope of charging for content online. Content is now and forever free ... TimesSelect represented the last gasp of the circulation mentality of news media, the belief that surely consumers would continue to pay for content even as the internet commodified news and — more important — even as the internet revealed that the real value in media is not owning and controlling content or distribution but enabling conversation."

Jay Rosen has more on this topic. He writes: "There are still executives at the Times company holding out against the logic of the open web. For these people it’s truly midnight in the cathedral of news. The Times has decided it’s better off in the bazaar."

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