Is the New York Times going to charge for their WPF reader?

Is the New York Times going to charge for their WPF reader?

Summary: It looks like the New York Times Company may charge for their WPF based reader. I think this is a good sign for Rich Internet Applications because it helps reinforce the idea that a rich experience adds a lot of value. In this case, it is a big company looking at the market and deciding the rich experience adds enough value to charge extra.

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TOPICS: Windows
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Very interesting post by Staci Kramer over at paidContent. She quotes a spokeswoman at the New York Times as having this to say about the possibility of charging for the NYT reader that was built with Microsoft using Windows Presentation Foundation:

We're still working on this and haven’t announced anything at this point. There are several different approaches we’re looking at.

But Stacy also notes a comment from Arthur Sulzberger, the chairman of the New York Times Company:

'I very much believe that the experience of reading a paper can be transferred to these new devices.' Will it be free? No, Sulzberger says. If you want to read the New York Times online, you will have to pay."

New York Times Reader 

I was one of many to cover the NYT reader and I still think it's a great application. What I find so interesting about this development is that a man like Sulzberger sees the richer interface as a value add that the company can charge for. Currently, web content from the New York Times is available with a free account, but as the world becomes more digital, the company needs to find a way to monetize their content. Part of that is advertising, but it seems that another part of it might be charging for a richer digital experience. That's a good sign for RIAs

Topic: Windows

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9 comments
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  • I expected better from the NY Times ...

    FYI:

    With all the talk and discussion concerning cross-platform you'd think the NY Times would have picked a set of technologies that would have allowed for creating *one* application that would run on any operating-system?

    No, they instead use MS tools that only allow for running on the latest Windows versions. Granted, they state they will be creating a MAC and Linux version, but I won't be holding my breath waiting for these to be release.

    Another boneheaded move by a company that should know better.

    chekmarx
    chekmarx1
    • Why?

      ..you'd think the NY Times would have picked a set of technologies that would have allowed for creating *one* application that would run on any operating-system?...

      They did. It's called HTML and available @NYTimes.com.
      But HTML technology is showing its age and so they have built a go-faster version using .Net3.0

      Is there a cross platform equivalent to .Net3.0?
      Not yet anyway.
      To paraphrase, get Windows and be done with it.

      HTH

      Joe
      seosamh_z
  • re;NY Times reader

    I don't see a particular problem in a company charging for for a richer experience - it's something we come across in life in general.

    I'd say the Times has wanted to charge for on-line content all along, but could never overcome the "free" paradigm - this might be their opportunity, especially if they are first to market.

    A bigger question is WHO would pay for this? It's my opinion, albeit TOTALLY unscientific, that Mac users are the ones that pay for add-on's that enrich their own personal user experience. I mean, they are paying for a more expensive copmuter to begin with.

    Linux users - ok, let's not bother going there. (besides, how many back room servers would read the Times anyway?)

    The 90% in the middle (windows users) are a vast array of user types. It will be interesting to see if the market supports this initiative.

    David
    davidmartinomalley
  • New York Times Reader

    This great!

    Content ownership in the digital age, I would expect nothing lees. They would have to be crazy to give this away for free, how many other services to get more of my money will they add on to this.

    How many other big media/retail giants are thinking of doing the same? I see a bright future for desktop RIA.
    MarlonSmith
  • Is the New York Times going to charge for their WPF reader?

    I think NY Times is the very best in On-line Newspapers. But it doesn't mean that you can not get online news for free. There are many second best alternatives. I, like many others, will drop NY Times like hot Potatoes if they want to charge for it. Incidently, they are already charging for NY Times Select.

    I predict that the advertising revenue will drop significantly. The time for paid online news is not here yet.
    ashok_k_gupta
  • Read/Feedback vs. Read/Annotate/Personalized Participation

    how many online users have time to read all news in these days? may be 5 to 10 minutes they would spend, the same news available everywhere. Charging for 'free content' in Reader means, what feature the reader has? It is ok to charge for rich content, To me the Reader is not rich enough, Riche UI in media means,
    - It has to allow to annotate, participate etc,
    - It may deliver very personalized content/participation
    I would like to see NY read/writer, then its reasonable to charge a reasonable amount, otherwise its going to be a joke.

    kind rgrds
    Saran
    saran9459
    • Read/Feedback vs. Read/Annotate/Personalized Participation

      It does support annotation and sharing, look <a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/Stewart/?p=145">here</a>.

      Personalization may come later but you have balance that with how far the designer wants to go before the brand becomes unrecognizable.
      MarlonSmith
      • I think, I haven?t conveyed my opinion in detail

        Annotation ? injecting ?text? then and there is a one way and static, I guess this is suitable for media professionals to correct/quality check. IMO, It should be like referring an artifact and from there it should start a conversation (threaded discussion), and it would form peer-to-peer community around the readers. Annotation should be very intuitive, could extended into pictures, few drawing tools. If I want to send a text annotated article, I could do it from web interface, I could add my comments in Email, could refer those paragraphs, moreover less users do this rarely. Users intuitively try to do the same activity as they did in classic media (paper), since implementing such intuitive features in web interface is very difficult and it could be easily implemented in rich clients to underline, circle, and quote artifacts etc. If you see the statistic reports, media blogs are getting more hits than main articles, why so? - ?Participation?. For paid version I would expect these ? 1) Annotation by drawing, 2) annotation by reference (would become a conversation) and limited drawing tools 3)persoanlization.
        I guess, in 2 or 3 year we may see all the above.
        Kind rgrds
        saran
        saran9459
  • Who reads the NYT?

    Didn't they lose 687 kazillion dollars last quarter?
    fords1