I have to say that I’m surprised that there are still news organizations even contemplating a pay model.
While reading the Terms of Service (I know, I know, hold the lectures about the geekiness of reading TOS) for one of my local newspapers, I came across this gem:
“Currently, service is free to all users . . . reserves the right to charge for this service in the future.”
Intrigued, I Googled the “…charge for this Service…” portion of the phrase and discovered that there are still a few publications publicly holding on to this fleeting dream, including:
- The Frederick News-Post
- The Washington Post Company (and all subsidiaries)
- Slate Magazine
- and other assorted odd websites
Now if I recall correctly, the New York Times not that long ago dropped their pay wall and today the Wall Street Journal dropped pay access for the opinion portion of their site en-route to the much anticipated and likely overall abandonment of their pay model. So that leaves?????
So what do you think, are my local newspaper and these other sites dreaming of one day collecting something similar to the WSJ.com’s $99 annual fee or is this just a case of sloppy TOS?