The New York Times is preparing to take a second foray into paid content, and echoes of their 2005-2007′s Times Select resonate as they craft the new plan.
One of the major reasons cited for the failure of the Times Select experiment was the difficulty people had getting to content once they’d paid for it. Whether through a lack of focus on user experience, budgets spent in the wrong place, or simple inexperience with designing for users, they ended up building a paywall that flummoxed paying users and blocked the sharing and linking that is the lifeblood of the Web.
Time will tell if the new attempt to put a fair market price on quality journalism will succeed. Comments from CEO Janet L. Robinson, however, show that they’ve learned important lessons from the past.
“That is one of the things we learned with TimesSelect,” said Janet L. Robinson, chief executive of the company. “We had to have the user experience down cold.”