The New York Times has decided to drop its TimeSelect subscription service, which allows users into certain parts of the website.
What’s the reason for this? Search engine optimisation.
The TimeSelect service has produced over $10 million in revenue for The New York Times since 2005, so why drop it?
Well, if they continue with a relatively small amount of subscribers, they can continue earning a similar amount of money per year. But if they open their pages up to the public, and more importantly, the search engines, then the volume of traffic will increase dramatically.
They can then use this extra traffic to generate extra ad revenues on the site. As Vivian Schiller, senior vice president of The New York Times points out “our projections for growth on that paid subscriber base were low, compared to the growth of online advertising”.
This is a smart move from The New York Times, perhaps we’ll start seeing other big subscriber sites follow suit in the near future if it works out for the better!