WSJ Stops Charging for Access to Its Web Site.
So, the Financial Times is next.
As Jeff Jarvis says in a terrific post:
It’s the relationship that is valuable.
It’s the relationship that is profitable, not the control of the content or the distribution.
That is the essential media moral of the internet story.
It has taken 13 years of internet history for media companies to learn that, to give up the idea that they control something scarce they can charge consumers for, but they’ve finally learned it.
That is the lesson of the death of TimesSelect.
Jeff also tells this great story:
I remember Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian, giving a speech in which he ridiculed the revenue TimesSelect brought in.
In his beloved PowerPoint, Rusbridger showed a picture of the new Times headquarters and said that the revenue from TimesSelect wouldn’t even pay the gas bill for the place.
(Illustration by Vince Natale/NYT)