In a post on the publication’s web site today, The New York Times announced its intentions to move to a paid subscription model — often referred to as a “pay wall” — for access its online content beginning on March 28th. Currently being tested in Canadian markets, the paper plans to provide users with a small sampling of Times content each month for free, after which readers must pay for access. “On NYTimes.com, you can view 20 articles each month at no charge (including slide shows, videos and other features),” writes Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, the site’s publisher. “After 20 articles, we will ask you to become a digital subscriber, with full access to our site.” The company’s mobile application users will still be able to access all articles in the “Top News” section free of charge, but access to other content will require a subscription. “If you are a home delivery subscriber of The New York Times, you will continue to have full and free access to our news, information, opinion and the rest of our rich offerings on your computer, smartphone and tablet,” continues Sulzberger. The subscription plans will range from $15 to $35. The move may be an attempt to push digital consumers back towards the traditional print medium. Home delivery of The New York Times is roughly $8 per week, making a four week subscription ($32) — which includes free access to all digital Times mediums — slightly cheaper than the digital-only “All Digital Access” offering ($35). The announcement did not specify if those paying for digital content would still be subjected to online advertising. More →
It looks like all the rumors, hearsay and hype can finally be put to bed. Apple and News Corp will hold a press conference next week to unveil News Corp’s iPad-only newspaper, “The Daily.” News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch will likely do the honors, and Apple VP Eddie Cue will be on hand to detail Apple’s newly available subscription services for publishers. The Daily is expected to cost subscribers $0.99 per week, and the digital paper will be run by former MTV exec Greg Clayman.
Still waiting for News Corp’s iPad-only newspaper to launch? It’s looking like the digital publication could be available within the next two weeks according to News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch’s son, James Murdoch. The Daily was originally rumored to launch on January 19th but was later postponed due to a reported delay in the iTunes subscription feature that Apple has been preparing. Other rumors have also linked the delay to Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ medical leave, however, as he presumably would have appeared at the launch event. The Daily will cost subscribers $0.99 per week and will be iPad only at first. More →
Reuters is reporting that mobile giant Nokia will stop offering its free music downloads service — Ovi Music — to new handset purchasers. The service, which initially launched in 2008, has received a luke warm reception due to the restrictive DRM used by Nokia, more competitive music service options, and lack of carrier support. Customers who currently have a free music subscription will be able to use the service until their subscription runs out. Universal, EMI, Warner, and Sony had partnered with Nokia to bring the service to over 27 countries. More →
According to an unconfirmed report in The Wall Street Journal Monday, Amazon.com is in the early stages of developing a subscription streaming service that will compete with Netflix’s “Watch Instantly.” Citing anonymous sources, WSJ reports that the service will look to undercut Netflix’s offering, though no other points of differentiation were mentioned.
Amazon.com Inc. is developing a Netflix-like subscription service that would offer TV shows and movies, according to people familiar with the matter. That service would be included as a bundle with its Amazon Prime shipping service, which costs $79 a year, those people said.
Amazon Prime gives members free two-day shipping on all Amazon.com orders. It also offers overnight shipping for $3.99 per item. Lumping in streaming movies and TV shows for free with this unrelated service would be a peculiar move at best, though it would mirror Netflix’s original strategy, in a way. Though the company recently launched a streaming-only plan for $7.99 per month, Netflix first introduced Watch Instantly as a free add-on for its DVDs-by-mail service. At $79 per year, Amazon.com’s service would be $17 less expensive per year than Netflix’s least expensive streaming package. More →
A new report Thursday suggests that legendary piracy pioneer LimeWire may soon call it quits. LimeWire was hardly the first network of its kind, but along with services like Kazaa, LimeWire played a major role in bringing file-sharing to the masses. This past October, LimeWire was forced to shutter its file-sharing service following a court order. Now, the company’s recent attempts to jump from seedy to sanctioned appear to be for naught. According to an alleged email to vendors obtained by All Things Digital, LimeWire will soon cease its attempts to run a legitimate online music store. The site also stopped accepting payments for its current offering according to a note on its homepage. LimeWire has supposedly been working on a new legal music service for the better part of 2010, but those plans are nixed as well. From the look of things, LimeWire will be no more as of January 1st, 2011. Hit the break for a copy of the company’s email to its partners. More →
According to a new report from Reuters, Microsoft recently held meetings with several networks to discuss licensing television content for a new Web-based subscription TV service. According to the unconfirmed report, the new service would provide streaming television content to owners of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console, among other devices. Microsoft looks to be intrigued by Apple’s success with the recently redesigned Apple TV, which has been very successful in recent months. Apple was reportedly trying to bring networks on board with a subscription service ahead of its revamped Apple TV launch, but those talks were unsuccessful. Microsoft seems to think it has something to bring to the table that Apple doesn’t, and with almost 46 million Xbox 360 consoles currently in the hands of consumers, we think Microsoft is probably right. More →
You heard that correctly, folks. TiVo has begun plans to subsidize their DVR hardware with a monthly fee. The Premiere is available for free with a 2 year commitment and $20 monthly fee, but is also available for $99 which requires only a year-long arrangement. The TiVo Premiere XL rings up at $299 with a one year commitment if you just can’t pass up some THX-certified recorded shows. TiVo had been experimenting with these plans on and off for the last week, but as of now, they are available to everyone directly from TiVo’s website.
Hulu Plus, a premium Web-based video streaming service, is now available to the public. Rob Wong, product director for Hulu Plus, made the announcement Thursday on the company’s blog, saying the service is now available without need for an invitation. Hulu provides a service that allows users to stream movies and TV episodes for free to computers. Hulu Plus, which costs $9.99 each month (for the time being, at least), offers enhancements such as additional content and the ability to stream to more devices like Apple’s iPhone and the Sony PlayStation 3. Rumors suggest interest in Hulu Plus has been minimal though, thanks to widely available free content as well as subscription competition like Netflix’s Watch Instantly. Hulu claims to have had a successful closed beta period, however, and it will continue to expand the service to more devices during the current open preview period.
[Via ReadWriteWeb] More →
With all of the options currently available for streaming movies and TV shows over the Internet, many wondered how Hulu would fare with its recently launched Hulu Plus service. The answer, as it turns out, may be not so great. Hulu Plus currently costs subscribers $9.95 per month. The subscription fee brings with it a larger catalog of content and the ability to stream Hulu on a variety of devices including the iPad, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal’s MediaMemo blog, adoption may be significantly slower than Hulu might have hoped. The company is apparently considering a 50% price drop just a few short months after having launched the service this past July. The supposed new subscription, $4.95, would certainly be much more appealing. Whether or not it will accelerate Hulu Plus adoption in the face of Netflix’s Watch Instantly service and free streaming provided on studio websites remains to be seen. More →
The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that Apple is planning “a new subscription plan for newspapers” for their iDevices that will be launched “soon.” The paper does not cite specific sources, but claims the service will have a similar pay structure to the one used in Apple’s App Store, with content providers will keep 60% to 70% of generated revenues. “The Cupertino company has agreed to provide an opt-in function for subscribers to allow Apple to share with publishers their information, which includes vital data that news organizations use to attract advertisers,” writes the Mercury News. We’re interested to know, would you purchase a newspaper subscription on an iPad or Android tablet? More →
Announced earlier today after months of speculation, Hulu Plus has finally become official. For $9.99 per month, subscribers will be able to watch their favorite shows — including those from seasons past — on a multitude of internet-connected devices. Mobile devices are a go, with iOS devices including the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad, and iPod touch (3rd generation) being the main attraction at this point in time. The best part as far as mobile is concerned is that streaming will work on both Wi-Fi and 3G networks. Several internet-connected HDTVs and Blu-ray players from Samsung already have support for the streaming service, and later on in the year, both Sony and Vizio will introduce support in some of their sets ad Blu-ray players. The PlayStation 3 will support the service “soon”, while the Xbox 360 will play nice come 2011. Hulu Plus will officially launch is July, but if you’re lucky you might just be able snag a preview invite. More →
Google is going to step into the online music business according to The Wall Street Journal, which cites to sources familiar with the matter. The search giant is reportedly in talks with the music industry to offer a music download service that will leverage Google’s position as the top search engine worldwide. The service will be available both on the web for all platforms and on Android handsets. Look for the music search and download service to launch later this year with an add-on subscription option slated for early 2011. With books, tv, and now music, Google is making a big play for a bigger slice of entertainment revenue, no? More →