Twitter has now replaced press releases at the New York Times. The paper is just wrapping up a "strategy" presentation to the newsroom, which is helpfully being live-twitted. Let's listen in! [UPDATED below]:
The execs are telling the newsroom how the imperiled paper is planning to move forward in the digital age and whatnot. Jenny 8. Lee and Michael Luo appear to be the most active Tweetpersons on this. Summary: No micropayments, but a paid membership plan for online access seems likely. The nonprofit model is out. More paid mobile apps. And the NYT "significantly outperformed" the market in display ads last year, allegedly.
From Michael Luo's Twitter:
From Jenny 8. Lee's Twitter:
The gist seems to be that
soon you'll have to pay to read NYtimes.com like you do now. Press release... TK.
UPDATE: A bit more clarity: Apparently the NYT does not want to have its standard content be paid per se, because they feel that it would hurt online ad revenue too much. The paid online plan that's being floated sounds instead like some sort of backdoor way to get revenue out of those readers who love the NYT so much that they'd be happy to donate money to it. So—and all of this is still in the planning stages, it seems—the idea would be to keep access to the current content free, then devise some sort of program offering superlatives or rewards to people who want to pay to be "members." Keep ad revenue high and add additional revenue streams, rather than gate content and risk seeing traffic plummet.
(Which is kind of the Holy Grail of online news that nobody's really mastered yet, so it will be interesting to see if this thing they develop is a huge success or a spectacular failure!)