Unconfirmed: New York Times' Website Paywall Will Cost Up To $20 a Month

The New York Times announced on Wednesday that they were putting in place a paywall from this month—meaning "a visitor to NYTimes.com will be allowed to view a certain number of articles free each month; to read more, the reader must pay a flat fee for unlimited access. Subscribers to the print newspaper, even those who subscribe only to the Sunday paper, will receive full access to the site without any additional charge."

Bloomberg heard from a source who claims the subscription will cost "less" than the $19.99 that the Kindle subscription costs for the New York Times. In case you're wondering, it costs $11.70 a week to receive a copy of the paper on your doorstep, and rival the Wall Street Journal charges $103 for a year's access (equating to $9 a month). [Bloomberg]

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Here's an idea.

Separate the content production from the publishing.

So the WSJ (and other content producers) would continue to write editorials, analysis and exclusive stories. Except, rather than sell it directly to me and you, sell each bit of individual content to publishers (papers, magazines, blogs), who in turn publish it to you and me.

The publishers become the middle-man. They pick and choose the best articles to feature. This market for individual pieces of content would improve the quality of content significantly. They have to pay for each bit of content, but in return they get a professionally written, high-quality piece, accredited to the WSJ. If the cost of the article is less than the perceived number of page views times the advertising revenue per page view, the publishers will buy the article.