Patterico's Pontifications

2/24/2012

L.A. Times to Charge for Content

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 11:39 pm



Hahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahaha.

OK. Gimme a second. All right. In a fascinating change of . . .

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

The Los Angeles Times will begin charging readers for access to its online news, joining a growing roster of major news organizations looking for a way to offset declines in revenue.

Starting March 5, online readers will be asked to buy a digital subscription at an initial rate of 99 cents for four weeks. Readers who do not subscribe will be able to read 15 stories in a 30-day period for free. There will be no digital access charge for subscribers of the printed newspaper.

Good luck with that, editors. I barely read your crap any more for free.

Thanks to Bradley J. Fikes.

40 Responses to “L.A. Times to Charge for Content”

  1. 15 stories in a whole year is pushing it

    It’s just a remarkably irrelevant newspaper.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  2. From the comments,a disappointed journo:
    I am willing to pay $4 a week for good, solid online journalism. This means I’ll have to find another news source other than the LAT.
    I will say paying for online news will become the rule rather than the exception very soon. Having worked as a reporter and editor in the daily newspaper industry for nearly 30 years, many of us saw this coming decades ago. Let’s hope the LAT puts its newfound revenue to better coverage and editing. Goodbye, everyone!

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (4267bd)

  3. My local rag started a similar paywall. It can be defeated by using Firefox and Noscript. Just sayin’.

    pdb (a44549)

  4. What will you California conservatives use for fish wrappers and bird cage liners now that the L.A. bible has been burned?

    sickofrinos (44de53)

  5. In a surprising, but logical move, the LAT, NYT, WaPost and a consortium of news print media have merged with NPR. The new organization, National Public Print Pres Progressive Propaganda will ask Obama to declare the first 14 days of each month as National Begging Month and provide time to beg for money all all internet, cable, broadcast and political speeches. The format will follow that pioneered by NPR.

    cedarhill (d9003c)

  6. Do I detect a “newspaper stimulus” on the horizon?

    navyvet (32d0b2)

  7. more and more newspapers are going to do this.

    there’s a fundamental problem in the newspaper industry: the newspaper bundle of news, sports, entertainment, and advertising has been largely debundled. employment ads in newspapers are now useless; so are ads for rentals, real estate sales, and general property sale. classified ads have all moved online.

    but the thing is that the classified ads traditionally paid for the rest of the paper. so to stay afloat, newspapers have to cut expenses (which has resulted in a deterioration of quality) and find new ways to make money.

    they’ve been compounding the problem by giving news away for free.

    (I pay for two news papers – I have a kindle subscription to the IHT, and I have an online subscription to the WSJ, which I use software to send to my kindle.)

    aphrael (d46bb0)

  8. Malcolm is the only a posteriori inducement to find oneself inside the LA Times.

    gary gulrud(MN#6, Anabaptist) (d88477)

  9. If they charge what it’s worth, they’ll be paying the readers.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  10. look for the Big News
    cash from the Obama stash
    bailout in future

    Colonel Haiku (28c165)

  11. Malcolm is the only a posteriori inducement to find oneself inside the LA Times.

    Comment by gary gulrud

    their Grand Experiment failed. He got the boot.

    Colonel Haiku (28c165)

  12. If the LA Times has done something, can the Washington Post be far behind? And if yesterday’s financial results are any indication, guess what we have to look forward to … http://bit.ly/qVdDUt

    ombdz (2a81ef)

  13. Charge away, LA Times. That’s what your digital customers are going to do.

    East Bay Jay (19f566)

  14. ____________________________________________

    guess what we have to look forward to … http://bit.ly/qVdDUt

    For those who tend not to click on links, I’ll excerpt the text that most stood out to me from the website you listed…

    http://www.ombudizen.com: The Washington Post reported their fourth quarter earnings yesterday. The news wasn’t good. Earnings fell by a whopping 22% in the quarter… [T]he newspaper division saw operating income plummet by 63% from the fourth quarter a year ago to $7.4 million. The Wall Street Journal called these “dismal results” in what may be the biggest understatement since Maxine Waters was described as “not bright”.

    The flagship Washington Post newspaper tanked just about everywhere you looked. Print advertising down 6%. Online display advertising down 15%. Daily circulation down over 6%. Sunday circulation down 4%.

    A scourge…has infiltrated into every section of the paper. As a long-time subscriber, I know whereof I speak. The Post has effectively become the MSNBC of the print media. By alienating a growing swath of its readership with its unrelenting, one-sided coverage, its circulation ceiling continues to ratchet down.

    I’ll give the Post only a bit more leeway since their op-ed pages do include writers like George Will and Charles Krauthammer. The LA Times, by contrast, removed what little conservative diversity they had not too long ago when they got rid of Andrew Malcolm and, previous to that, the political cartoonist Michael Ramirez.

    It would be nice if such publications were cratering due to their political biases, but unfortunately they merely reflect a good portion of their urban readership (or at least the part that speaks and reads English) consisting of “we’re such tolerant, generous, compassionate, sophisticated, beautiful” people. Or the types who’ve made Greece Greece, Argentina Argentina, Mexico Mexico, France France, etc.

    A few days ago I was leafing through recent copies of Time magazine and the New York Times Magazine, recalling past years when they both were quite full of advertising. The lack of that nowadays and the resulting thinness of such magazines were quite apparent to me. Considering the large number of people working in the MSM who perceive themselves as good environmentalists (“thank goodness our publications are using less tree-destroying paper!!”), as friends of Occupy Wall Street (“populism deserves modest pay, modest lifestyles!”), and admirers of liberal politicians (“Obama is our savior!”), they should be happy at current trends. They deserve no less.

    Mark (411533)

  15. Hey, don’t be hasty–if they’ll fire Bill Plaschke I’ll send them a buck or two before going back to ignoring them. Maybe if they publish some more undiluted North Korean propaganda on their front page Sean Penn or Jimmy Carter will send some cash their way.

    M. Scott Eiland (003254)

  16. Fifteen stories a month? Even The New York Times gives you twenty!

    You can usually get around paywalls, but it takes some effort. I have a Wall Street Journal widget on my sidebar, but most of the stories take you to the first couple of paragraphs and then a reference to subscribe. If I copied a sentence, and then paste it in Google, I could usually find the whole story.

    But, since I use WSJ articles fairly frequently, I figured that it was only proper to go ahead and buy the digital subscription. It has what I want, and I don’t believe I was cheated.

    I do have to pick up The Philadelphia Inquirer dead trees edition on the way to work: the crossword puzzle has become a work requirement.

    The Dana who subscribes to The Wall Street Journal. (f68855)

  17. Dana, i’m extremely irritated with the NYT web stuff.

    The IHT is an international subsidiary of the NYT. It focuses, as you might expect, on international news, and I read it primarily for coverage of asia and europe. I have a kindle subscription.

    The IHT used to have its own web site, but it’s been folded into the NYT website.

    The IHT kindle subscription does not get you access to the NYT website. A NYT kindle subscription does.

    I feel somewhat … cheated.

    aphrael (d46bb0)

  18. aphrael noted:

    there’s a fundamental problem in the newspaper industry: the newspaper bundle of news, sports, entertainment, and advertising has been largely debundled.

    That’s a good point. When I want sports news, I check out The Lexington Herald-Leader, because I’m looking for information on the University of Kentucky Wildcats, or the Oakland Tribune, for stories on the Raiders. For national news, The New York Times is the place to go, and for anything dealing with economics, The Wall Street Journal. But I only pay for one of them.

    Online ads seem to be easier to skip than print ones; the print ones lay around as long as you have the paper, so there’s more chance to see them, while the online ads get closed out immediately.

    The Dana from Pennsylvania (f68855)

  19. Well, the LAT occasionally does commit a random act of journalism, but not 15 times a month – and usually, not 15 times a year.

    Jay Stevens (196d66)

  20. If the LAT is serious about winning back readers like me, they need to go back to reporting on the things that interests us, like ILLEGAL immigration and government corruption. They operate in a target-rich environment but reporting only those things that appeal those who don’t read or only read Spanish or other non-English language.

    Who needs to pay for left-wing socialist propaganda when we get it for free from all angles 24/7/365? I’m willing to pay for news, not propaganda. How about trying journalism for a change? How about exposing the crooks that run LA instead of pandering to them?

    Pasadena Phil (7bc659)

  21. aphrael: Perhaps if you contact the NYT and tell them what your situation is, they’ll convert it over; that way you’ll get both, and they stand a decent chance of you becoming a regular digital NYT subscriber in the future. Heck, they could even take that as an advertising promo.

    The Dana who hates to be cheated (f68855)

  22. And one would think that, given how well our esteemed host has spread the word for the Los Angeles Times in the past, they would give him a free online subscription! :)

    The snarky Dana (f68855)

  23. They are following their ‘more selective audience strategy’ ala Spinal Tap, of course, Times Select
    should have told them the lesson of that, as did
    RightHaven,

    narciso (87e966)

  24. Pageview counters are easy to subvert. For instance, to view a linked page “for free” using Chrome, just right-click the link, and choose “Open link in incognito window”. Works on the NYT right now.

    melanerpes (3201b0)

  25. I actually think this might be a good move for LAT.

    The only folks who tolerate tons of bias are also dedicated enough to fund it.

    Once you whittle your base down far enough, you can be a boutique catering exclusively to them. Some people will be very pleased if the LAT actually takes the bias to the next level. That’s what will probably happen.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  26. Dustin has a point. The LAT is very comforting to those in the left-wing bubble, who want upsetting facts ignored or massaged.

    Internally, make sure the stories reflect a left-wing bias. Externally, proclaim that the LAT is scrupulously objective. That combination allows dogmatic lefties to maintain the illusion that they’re centrists.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (4267bd)

  27. Dana: the NYT kindle subscription is more than the IHT kindle subscription (although i’ve had the IHT subscription for longer than the NYT paywall). Since the NYT’s coverage of city news is terrible, i just google headlines and get in that way.

    I would be willing to buy the kindle edition of any paper which had good local NY area coverage, but none do (except, oddly, for the Journal).

    aphrael (d46bb0)

  28. I recall a professor explain that the NYT, CBS, and Wikipedia were acceptable sources, but Fox News was absolutely not.

    Why? Because Fox News isn’t objective. This was within a few months of Rathergate.

    Some folks really get a kick out of calling their bubble ‘objective’. I think the main reason they can’t stand Fox News is because it also claims the objectivity mantle, forcing them to explain why a left wing biased organization is objective in a way a right wing led one isn’t.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  29. aphrael,
    there’s a fundamental problem in the newspaper industry: the newspaper bundle of news, sports, entertainment, and advertising has been largely debundled.

    I’m living through that experience, so all I can say is amen. There is no proven model for online news that newspapers can move to. The industry is still groping through the fog.

    Like you, I’m willing to pay for news online. I subscribe to four publications online: WSJ, Reason magazine, the San Diego Daily Transcript and U-T San Diego. All but the last I get on my Kindle.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (4267bd)

  30. The declines in revenue the LA Times is whining about might have something to do with their declines in intelligent content. It’s called NEWS.

    But unfortunately, California is Namby-Pamby Land, awash in idiots.

    bobdog (166386)

  31. “..Some people will be very pleased if the LAT actually takes the bias to the next level…”

    But, don’t those people already read the Puffington Host?

    AD-RtR/OS! (bb07cd)

  32. I just realized I haven’t seen anything interesting on huff po in ages. they just aren’t relevant anymore. I try to read stuff outside my bubble, but at least keep it interesting.

    I wonder how AOL feels about the purchase. I bet Ariana is laughing her ass off.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  33. Hey, it’s not their fault that no one’s figured out a newspaper pay model for the internet age yet.

    The Sanity Inspector (94bc34)

  34. aphrael wrote:

    Dana: the NYT kindle subscription is more than the IHT kindle subscription (although i’ve had the IHT subscription for longer than the NYT paywall). Since the NYT’s coverage of city news is terrible, i just google headlines and get in that way.

    I would be willing to buy the kindle edition of any paper which had good local NY area coverage, but none do (except, oddly, for the Journal).

    They say that, on the train, you can see a whole bunch of people who have the NYT on the outside, to conceal the fact that they are really reading the New York Post. :) This could be a plan for you.

    The Dana whose dear, departed mother was a mortgage banker (f68855)

  35. LAT tried this in the mid-90s, staffed up dozens in a group especially for internet content offered through Prodigy*I know, right?* at $4.95/month. FAIL. (btw, this was back when daily circ was >1mm)

    My thought is that this is a way to get some soon-to-be-laid-off Times employees a more ‘modern’ title, before they have to begin a new job search.

    TimesDisliker (3da0a7)

  36. whatever causes the Slimes to go out of business entirely faster than it is going to now is okay in my book.

    of course, i still remember when they broke the attempt of the independent distributors to organize back in the early 70’s and took over retail distribution of the paper themselves.

    i also remember freezing my fourth point of contact off on the back of a pickup in the cold and rain putting saturday and sunday papers together, then running to the rack to swap them out on the fly…

    no wonder my legs are shot these days.

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  37. The only folks who tolerate tons of bias are also dedicated enough to fund it.

    — Presumably, these are the same folks that can’t bring themselves to independently support Planned Parenthood. Dedication ends at the pocketbook.

    Icy (cbf9f2)

  38. Pasadena Phil!

    Icy (cbf9f2)


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