Time’s big new paywall

June 21, 2010
AR today, I ran straight into a Time Magazine paywall:

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Is this new? Following a link from AR today, I ran straight into a Time Magazine paywall:


That’s it: lots of sharing tools, but just one paragraph of the article, and then an invitation to subscribe to the magazine ($40 per year) or download the Time iPad app ($5 per issue, which works out at $260 per year, or thereabouts). Either way, even after you’ve shelled out your cash, you still can’t read the story on Time.com, as far as I can tell.

I don’t get it: I thought that Time.com was all about maximizing pageviews, and was also a website happy to run stories talking about how “almost everybody who has ever tried charging for content has failed”.

It seems that Time has come to the conclusion that if it can’t make money charging for content on the web, it simply won’t publish that content on the web: it’ll just run a one-paragraph snippet, and force you to read the article elsewhere, if you’re so inclined. It’s an odd choice to make; I wonder how long it’ll last. And, can somebody tell me how long this has been going on? It’s certainly the first I’ve heard of it.

Update: AR says that the paywall wasn’t there this morning. Curiouser and curiouser.


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