New York Times Considers Paid Access to Mobile News

5:38 AM Edited by Blony

. New York Times Co., publisher of the namesake newspaper, is likely to begin charging users to access its news on mobile devices before it does so on its Web sites, the head of digital operations said.

Times Co. is considering paid subscriptions on devices including Apple Inc.’s iPhone because they allow for less advertising than the Web, Martin Nisenholtz said in an interview today in New York following a speech. The publisher hasn’t yet determined whether or how to charge for access to its sites, he said.

“Mobile offers a better opportunity for paid content,” Nisenholtz said in his remarks. “For publishers to offer their content for free in the mobile platform forever without getting paid very much money, I don’t think it’s going to be tenable.”

The New York-based publisher has said it was studying means for charging for some of its news content online as advertising sales and circulation continue to decline. First-quarter ad revenue plunged 27 percent and Times Co. said it expected a similar decline during this quarter.

The New York Times newspaper is currently available for free on the iPhone, while the publisher charges a fee to access its content on Inc.’s Kindle portable reader. Nisenholtz said he expected the newspaper will eventually be available on multiple e-readers.

Times Co. has been limiting the quantity of ads on each Web site page in favor of larger, more interactive advertisements that readers are more likely to click on, Nisenholtz said. “We have a lot more rate leverage” with advertisers because they aren’t competing for space with other marketers.

The company’s Web site would remain free, Nisenholtz said in the interview.

Times Co. lost 24 cents, or 4.5 percent, to $5.06 at 4:04 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have declined 31 percent this year.

Vía Bloomberg