Please find attached Newyork time case and answer 

 REQUIRED COMPONENTS 

1. Summarize the relevant points 

2. Summarize the business problem / crisis faced by the marketing manager. 

3. Analyze / gain insights from included data. 

4. Describe possible decisions. 

5. Declare what you find to be the best solution / based on the nuances situation, your analysis

 “GOOD BECOMES GREAT” COMPONENTS

 1. Generalize the case to decisions made in competing companies, similar industries, or completely different sectors of the economy. 

2. Prognosticate the future for this kind of case in the future.

 3. Make some determination about how changes in the social, political, legal, or technological sphere will affect this industry or the decision faced. 

4. Write from the experience of your own experiences in industry.

Analyze the case study and answer these questions along with required components and “GOOD BECOMES GREAT” components

1. Is the paywall working? 2. How would you evaluate the current paywall compared with the two prior ones? Do you think it is appropriately designed compared with the Financial Times or the Wall Street Journal? 3. Why are newspapers in trouble? What is the goal of The New York Times in creating the paywall? 4. Should The New York Times actively manage its transition from print to digital? 5. Does the paywall seem like a good strategy for newspapers in general? 

9-512-077

R E V : J A N U A R Y 3 1 , 2 0 1 3

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Professors Vineet Kumar, Bharat Anand, Sunil Gupta and Felix Oberholzer-Gee prepared this case with the help of Research Associate
Dharmishta Rood. This case was developed from published sources, and the presentation of some data have been simplified to aid in classroom
discussion. HBS cases are developed solely as the basis for class discussion. Cases are not intended to serve as endorsements, sources of primary
data, or illustrations of effective or ineffective management.

Copyright © 2012, 2013 President and Fellows of Harvard College. To order copies or request permission to reproduce materials, call 1-800-545-
7685, write Harvard Business School Publishing, Boston, MA 02163, or go to www.hbsp.harvard.edu/educators. This publication may not be
digitized, photocopied, or otherwise reproduced, posted, or transmitted, without the permission of Harvard Business School.

V I N E E T K U M A R

B H A R A T A N A N D

S U N I L G U P T A

F E L I X O B E R H O L Z E R – G E E

The New York Times Paywall

Every newspaper in the country is paying close, close attention [to the Times paywall], wondering if they
can get readers of online news to pay. Is that the future, or a desperate attempt to recreate the past?. . . Will
paywalls work for newspapers?

— Tom Ashbrook, host of On Point, National Public Radio1

On March 28, 2011, The New York Times (The Times) website became a restricted site. The home
page and section front pages were unrestricted, but users who exceeded the allotted “free quota” of
20 articles for a month were directed to a web page where they could purchase a digital subscription.

The paywall was launched earlier on March 17, 2011, in Canada, which served as the testing
ground to detect and resolve possible problems before the global launch. The Times website had been
mostly free for its entire existence, except for a few months in 2006–2007 when TimesSelect was
launched. Traditional newspapers had been struggling to maintain profitability in the online
medium, and they were eager to see how the public would react to the creation of a paywall at the
most popular news website in the U.S.

Martin Nisenholtz, the senior vice president of Digital Operations at The Times, was optimistic
about the willingness of users to pay:

I think the majority of people are honest and care about great journalism and The New York
Times. When you look at the research that we’ve done, tons of people actually say, “Jeez,
we’ve felt sort of guilty getting this for free all these years. We actually want to step up and
pay, because we know we’re supporting a valuable institution.2

However, many commentators, both in the blogosphere and in the traditional media, were openly
critical of this approach. Michael DeGusta, a blogger, represented the critics’ view: “It’s sad that
instead of competing for the future by pricing for the digital age, The Times has opted to fight an
inevitably doomed battle to hold on to the past.”3

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512-077 The New York Times Paywall

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Mathew Ingram of GigaOm considered The Times paywall as a stopgap arrangement and went on
to say, “If paywall is your only strategy, then you are doomed.”4 Katharine Weymouth, publisher of
The Washington Post, another major newspaper, strongly resisted a paywall:

For us, we believe at the moment it doesn’t make sense. We are making a bet for the long term.
We want to be around as The Washington Post for a long time and many generations to come,
and at the moment, we think that the best way to do that is to have a free website that is open
to everybody and attract as many people as we can to spend as much time as they can with our
journalism, and assume that that will bring them back for more.5

By December 2011, digital subscribers for The Times grew to 390,000, and Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.,
the company’s chairman, described the paywall as a success that represented “a robust new revenue
stream.”6

However the long-term prospects of paywalls remained uncertain. The subscriber growth was
slowing down, and many of the paid subscribers of The Times were enticed by the introductory offer
of 99 cents for a 4-week subscription. A previous experiment with a paywall, TimesSelect, was
abandoned in 2007 after The Times secured 227,000 paying customers.

Was the paywall a good idea for the long-term? Would it provide a foundation for a sustainable
business model as The Times approached an ever-evolving technology and media landscape?

Company Background

The New York Times Company was a leading global multimedia news and information company
with 2011 revenues of $2.3 billion and an operating profit of $57 million, and operated The New York
Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, and About.com. (See Exhibit 1 for company
structure, Exhibit 2 for business units and their revenues, and Exhibit 3 for company financials.) The
company defined its core purpose as “enhance[ing] society by creating, collecting and distributing
high quality news, information and entertainment.”7

The New York Times, the flagship daily newspaper of the company, was founded on September 18,
1851, by journalist and politician Henry Jarvis Raymond, and former banker George Jones. By 2011,
the newspaper had won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization. Reflecting on The
Times’s importance, Michael Hirschorn, the contributing editor of the Atlantic, remarked:

The Times still, I think to a remarkable degree, does set the agenda. You really can trace almost
any major story these days to something that originally appeared in The Times. The problem is
that once it reaches the public, they may not even know it came from The Times.8

In spite of its prize-winning journalism, The Times was facing significant pressures. Its
subscription and revenues had steadily declined over the years (see Exhibits 3 and 4). Its advertising
revenues in 2011 were down by over 6% compared with 2010 ad revenues, and in spite of cost
cutting, the operating profit in 2011 was 76% less than the previous year. In January 2012, the
company sold its Regional Media Group consisting of 16 regional newspapers for $143 million in
cash.9

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The New York Times Paywall 512-077

3

The Newspaper Industry

The New York Times was not alone in feeling this pressure—the entire newspaper industry was
facing significant challenges. Overall circulation in the industry for both weekday and weekend
newspapers was declining (Exhibit 5). Traditional sources of newspaper revenues—subscription,
retail, and classified advertising—were also declining (Exhibit 6). In contrast, most of the costs for
editorial staff, production, and distribution were fixed and had very little room for reduction. Table

A shows the revenue and cost structure of a typical U.S. newspaper.

Table A Revenue and Cost Breakdown of a Typical U.S. Newspaper, circa 2010

Revenue (%) Cost (%)

Advertising 75% Core 37%

Retail 42% Promotion 13%
Classified 25% Editorial 15%
National 8% Administrative 9%

Subscription and Newsstand 25% Production & Distribution 52%
Production 20%
Distribution 14%
Raw materials 18%

Source: Harold L. Vogel, Entertainment Industry Economics, 8th edition (Cambridge University Press, 2010), p. 371.

The U.S. newspaper industry, with 2009 annual revenues of around $35 billion, was highly
fragmented with over 5,000 players.10 However, the top 50 firms accounted for over three-quarters of
the industry’s revenue. The top 25 newspapers ranged from national newspapers like USA Today and
The Wall Street Journal to more regionally focused dailies like The Boston Globe (Exhibit 7).

Digital Disruption

The rise of the Internet brought new opportunities and challenges for the newspaper industry.
Nicholas Carr, a technology writer at The Times, described the digital disruption for this industry:

The nature of a newspaper, both as a medium for information and as a business, changes when
it loses its physical form and shifts to the Internet. It gets read in a different way, and it makes
money in a different way. A print newspaper provides an array of content—local stories,
national and international reports, news analyses, editorials and opinion columns,
photographs, sports scores, stock tables, TV listings, cartoons, and a variety of classified and
display advertising—all bundled together into a single product . . . . When a newspaper moves
online, the bundle falls apart.11

The industry had clearly struggled with the advent of digital media. James McQuivey of Forrester
Research summed up the dire situation: “The newspaper industry didn’t see monster.com taking the
jobs portion away. They didn’t see Craigslist taking the classified portions away. They didn’t see
Ford or GM making their own websites to take automotive advertising basically away forever.”12

Clay Shirky, a writer and media commentator, provided a grim perspective of newspapers:

Society doesn’t need newspapers. What we need is journalism. For a century, the imperatives
to strengthen journalism and to strengthen newspapers have been so tightly wound as to be

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512-077 The New York Times Paywall

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indistinguishable. That’s been a fine accident to have, but when that accident stops, as it is
stopping before our eyes, we’re going to need lots of other ways to strengthen journalism
instead.13

Newspapers’ Response

While the Internet posed some threats to newspapers, it also offered them new ways to reach their
audience. Almost all of the major newspapers rushed to put their content online for free, and the
industry witnessed a tremendous growth in online traffic of readers (Exhibit 8). According to
comScore, a market research company, over 123 million people in the U.S. visited newspaper
websites in May 2010, making the transition to online news highly important for the entire industry.
The Pew Research Center reported that the Internet was the number-two source for news after
television, but was ahead of newspapers and radio.14

For newspapers, the new source of revenue through online advertising, however, did not
compensate for the revenue decline from print. Online advertising rates for newspaper websites were
significantly lower than the print advertising rates, and by 2009, online advertising revenue was only
8.2% of total newspaper revenue.15

Some local newspapers, like the Detroit Free Press, responded to falling circulation by limiting
home deliveries to certain days of the week (e.g., Sundays) when advertising was high.16 Others, like
the Ann Arbor News, chose to shut down print operations and move all of its content online.17

A few newspapers had implemented paywalls, most notably The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), which
received over 15 million unique visitors to its website every month, in addition to remaining the
largest newspaper by weekday circulation. However, this experience was not representative for most
newspapers, since WSJ dealt with more specialized content. In fact, when The Times of London had
introduced a paywall in May 2010, its traffic dropped from 2.79 million unique visitors before the
paywall to 1.61 million a few months after the paywall was introduced.18

Other media sectors, including music, books, and movies, had struggled through their own
transitions to digital media. Reflecting on the challenges of transition accompanied by these new
channels, Jeff Zucker, the CEO of NBC Universal, said in 2008:

What we know historically is every time there’s a new avenue of distribution, that’s good for
the consumer . . . What we have to do is make sure we’re playing in both worlds, the digital
world, and the analog world. The economics around these digital properties are not yet fully
formed—they will be, but that’s five years at least. We can’t trade analog dollars for digital
pennies.19

The iPad Arrives: Spring 2010

In the midst of the online trends buffeting the industry, the introduction of the iPad provided a
revolutionary new platform for consuming news. On January 27, 2010, Martin Nisenholtz joined
Steve Jobs on stage to present a slick Times iPad app during launch, saying: “We’re incredibly
psyched to pioneer the next generation of digital journalism. We want to create the best of print and

best of digital, all rolled up into one.”a

a In pricing the digital subscription, The Times had to account for a 30% revenue share with Apple if a new subscriber was

acquired through the app store, but consumers who had subscribed directly with The Times were not subject to the 30% fee.

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The New York Times Paywall 512-077

5

There was huge speculation in the media about the effects of the iPad, with diverging opinions on
whether it was the last best hope for an old media industry, or whether it would merely hasten its
decline. Mercedes Bunz of The Guardian, a UK-based newspaper, had commented: “If Steve Jobs
would save journalism, it might be possible that publishers would get him the Holy Grail.”20 Rupert
Murdoch, the chairman of News Corporation, which owned The Wall Street Journal and Fox News in
the U.S., remarked: “The iPad may well be the saving of the newspaper industry [ . . . ] it’s better than
them getting out of business altogether.”21

The iPad was considered a significant new way to consume digital media, since the “lean back”
experience it enabled was more immersive and considerably different from the “lean forward”
experience that users typically had with a computer. A survey by the Reynolds Journalism Institute
in Fall 2010 revealed that 99% of iPad users consumed news on the device, and user experience on the
iPad was closest to a print newspaper. Those who owned iPads were also found to be less likely to
have and retain subscriptions to newspapers.22

Earlier Paywalls at The Times

The First Experiment

In 1996, The Times launched its website and started charging overseas users $35 per month for
access to the site. This experiment was abandoned about two years later; the company cited an
interest in increased advertising revenue as the cause for the shift.23 Nisenholtz explained: “Internet
usage overseas is growing at a faster pace than domestic usage and we are intent on building our
franchise worldwide. We are convinced that our advertiser-supported, no-fee registration model,
which has worked so well for us here, is the best path to accomplish this.”

TimesSelect—The Second Experiment

TimesSelect was the second attempt by The Times to charge its readers. The program was
introduced in September 2005, and was priced at $49.95 per year for access to noted columnists like
Thomas Friedman, Nicholas Kristof, and Paul Krugman. Access to news and other content on The
Times website remained free. The paywall offered discounts to college students and other select
readers, and remained free to all of its print subscribers.

Within two years of its introduction, TimesSelect grew to 227,000 paid subscribers (Exhibit 9).
However, the rise of social media and high-quality blogs led many users to question the value of the
content on TimesSelect. In addition, the columnists featured in TimesSelect were said to be unhappy
with the system. Tom Friedman had remarked at the time, ”It pains me enormously, because it’s cut
me off from a lot of people, especially because I have a lot of people who read me overseas . . . .”24

Faced with widespread criticism of the paywall approach, the program ended on September 19,
2007. In a letter to readers explaining the decision, Vivian Schiller, senior vice president and general
manager of The Times, wrote:

Since we launched TimesSelect in 2005, the online landscape has altered significantly. Readers
increasingly find news through search, as well as through social networks, blogs and other
online sources. In light of this shift, we believe offering unfettered access to The New York Times
reporting and analysis best serves the interest of our readers, our brand and the long-term
vitality of our journalism. We encourage everyone to read our news and opinion—as well as
share it, link to it and comment on it.25

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512-077 The New York Times Paywall

6

Designing the New Paywall

The Times management designed the new paywall after considerable research and its own
reflections on lessons learned from the nearly two years of operating TimesSelect. The success and
failure of other newspapers were also helpful in management’s deliberations.

Metered System

There were four broad options for designing the new paywall, based on the degree of access
provided to users, the type of content, and the type of medium that was included.

 All or nothing: In this option users would not get access to any content unless they
subscribed to the newspaper. The Economist and The Times of London were examples of
publications that chose a version of this option.

 Exclusive content: Another option was to make the news content available for free to
everyone, since many consumers viewed news as a commodity, but restrict access to exclusive
content, such as op-ed articles and analysis, to paid subscribers. TimesSelect was based on this
option.

 Metered system: The third option was to use a metered system where users would be able to
get free access to all content up to a pre-specified number of articles or pages, but would need
to subscribe for access beyond this threshold.

 Device-specific offer: The Times could also charge consumers based on the medium (e.g.,
print newspaper, website, iPad) by which they consumed news. Given the recent evolution of
these technologies, few publications had chosen this option.

After much debate, the management chose a device-specific and metered system that allowed
users to read 20 articles a month without paying. The limit of 20 articles was chosen to draw in
subscription revenue from the most loyal readers who saw value in The Times content, while not
driving away casual visitors who made up the vast majority of the site’s traffic. The home page at
nytimes.com and all section front pages were free to all users at all times, whereas for the iPhone and
iPad apps, the “Top News” was free and all other content was placed behind the paywall.

Since the cost of serving more content to an additional user was minimal, not everyone in the
industry agreed with the idea of charging based on the amount of content consumed. Raju Narisetti,
managing editor at The Washington Post, disagreed with this approach, tweeting: “Don’t penalize
engaged readers of websites with a paywall: reward your active users.”26 Jeff Jarvis, a journalism
professor and media expert, went even further by suggesting a “reverse paywall” where the more
active users would see their charges reduced as a reward for their loyalty.27

Leaky Wall

The new paywall accommodated users who came in from traffic generators like social networks
and search engines. Readers who came in through Google were restricted to a five-article-per-day
limit over and above the 20 monthly allotted articles, whereas those who visited from social media
sites like Facebook and Twitter as well as other search engines faced no limits, as long as articles were
linked directly from those sources.

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The New York Times Paywall 512-077

7

Thus, the company created a “leaky paywall” design rather than the “bulletproof paywall”
approach adopted by other publishers like the Financial Times or The Wall Street Journal, which did not
permit any user who had not registered to have access to any article.

Although this system had the potential to cause user confusion about what was freely available,
The Times was trying to generate additional revenue while promoting the social buzz generated by its
articles. (Exhibit 10 shows the top five sources of incoming traffic to The Times website.)

Pricing

The pricing for digital access was put into three tiers depending on the device used to access
content (see Table B for the pricing of digital and print editions). After accounting for introductory
offers and special deals, the average price paid by the digital subscribers of The Times by the end of
2011 was estimated to be a little over $4.00 per week.28 All print subscribers were granted full access
to all content across all media without any additional charge.

Table B Pricing of Digital and Print Editions of The New York Times, 2011 (per week)

Digital Print Home Delivery

Subscription Price Subscription Price

NYTimes.com + Smartphone $3.75 Seven Days $15.40

NYTimes.com + Tablet $5.00 Friday–Sunday $10.80

All Digital Access $8.75 Sunday $7.80

(NYTimes.com + Smartphone + Tablet) Monday–Friday $7.70

Note: Print home delivery prices are approximate and depend on location.

Source: Company website.

Bloggers and media pundits were highly skeptical about this pricing. One blogger, Michael
DeGusta, compared the annual cost of digital access to The Times with the cost of other digital content
(Exhibit 11), and commented: “Does The Times really think the mass audience is going to decide their
$455/year is better spent on The Times rather than getting 20+ free articles/month from The Times
plus The Wall Street Journal ($207/year) plus The Economist ($110/year) plus say The Daily
($39/year) for good measure, and still having ~$100 left over each year?”

Promotions

In addition to marketing the new digital program to its current print subscribers (who got the
digital access for free) and lapsed subscribers, The Times also partnered with the auto manufacturer
Lincoln to provide free subscriptions to heavy users of the website until the end of 2011. Lincoln
aimed to reach an audience that would help the company build its brand, and it expected to execute
this strategy with an e-mail campaign and through interstitial ads on The Times website.

Connie Fontaine, manager of U.S. Lincoln marketing communications, said, “Our brand is one
that has a lot of great news and a lot to say but isn’t always heard. The Times did bring us this idea
and we thought it was really relevant to the brand for a lot of reasons. The type of reader we’ll be able
to engage through this program is a thought leader.”29

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512-077 The New York Times Paywall

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Although Lincoln would not pay the actual subscription costs for participating readers, valued at
$150 per reader, the company was expected to increase its online ad spending with The Times.30
Details of the agreement were kept private.

Early Results

In a press release in February 2012, the company reported 390,000 paid subscribers for its new
digital initiative, including The Times and the International Herald Tribune (Exhibit 12).31 In addition,
almost 70% of the print subscribers registered for digital access, which was free with their print
subscription. Commenting on the 2011 results, chairman Sulzberger, Jr. said:

In 2011 we made significant strides in our strategy to transform and rebalance our Company.
Our fourth-quarter results demonstrate the continued focus on building The Times’s digital
subscription base and developing a new robust consumer revenue stream, while maintaining
its significant digital advertising business.32

A key concern was the potential drop in website traffic and online advertising revenue. The Times
of London had started a paywall in July 2010, and within 17 days its web traffic dropped by 66%.33
(Exhibit 13 shows unique visitors and page views of The New York Times before and after the
paywall.)

In Q4 2011, the digital advertising revenue for the News Media Group—that included The New
York Times Media Group, The New England Media Group, and The Regional Media Group—
increased by 5.3% but print advertising revenue declined by 7.8%. For 2011, digital advertising
revenue for the company was about 28% of total ad revenue. Table C shows the revenues of The
New York Times Media Group (which included The Times and International Herald Tribune).

Table C Revenues of The New York Times Media Group (in millions of dollars)

Revenues 2011 2010 2009 2008

Advertising 756 780 797 1,068

Circulation 705 684 683 668

Other 93 93 101 181

Total 1,555 1,557 1,582 1,917

Source: Compiled from company annual reports and press releases.

Note: Circulation in 2011 includes revenues from both print and digital subscribers.

The Future of Newspapers

Some experts in the industry considered The Times paywall a success. Encouraged by the results of
The Times paywall, in September 2011 the company introduced a paywall for The Boston Globe,
another newspaper in its News Media Group which covered the New England region. By the end of
December 2011, The Globe had attracted 16,000 paid subscribers.34

At the same time, others viewed this as only a stopgap arrangement for the eventual decline of
newspapers. John Paton, CEO of the Journal Register Company that oversaw several local
newspapers, was a particularly outspoken critic of the paywall strategy:35

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The New York Times Paywall 512-077

9

Newspapers have less than 10 years in America to change their business models profoundly or
they’re going to go out of business. And this doesn’t do it, focusing on paywalls, marrying a
new idea to an old model. Focusing on paywalls is an idea that’s never going to fail to fail [sic].

The industry was buzzing with a series of questions and speculation. Was the paywall working?
Would the paid subscriber growth continue? Would subscribers enticed by the introductory offer pay
full price? Would churn among digital subscriber be higher or lower than for print subscribers?
Would digital subscription cannibalize print subscription? Would the digital strategy change the
content and editorial process of the print edition? Most important, would the strategy provide a
sustainable business model for The Times to create a multimedia multi-platform news presence in the
future?

Newspapers across the world were carefully watching The Times experiment with the paywall in
the hope that this might provide a solution to their declining fortunes. Frédéric Filloux, a blogger
who covered technology and media, had remarked on the blog Monday Note: “Every newspaper,
magazine or website is working on a paywall of sorts and closely monitoring what everyone else is
doing…The strongest players don’t just bow to the inevitable, they accelerate their transition to
digital.”36

But as Tom Ashbrook had wondered, could the paywall be a strategy of the past with no
relevance to the future, which would instead bring new and ever-evolving technologies for
consumers to receive news? Or could the strategy be a savior for the declining newspaper industry?

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512-077 The New York Times Paywall

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Exhibit 1 The New York Times Business Units

Source: Casewriters, from company website.

Exhibit 2 The New York Times Company Revenue by Business Unit

Source: Compiled from company annual reports and press release.

The New York Times Company

New York Times

Media Group

New England

Media Group

Regional

Media Group

About

Group
Joint

Ventures

• The New York Times

• International Herald

Tribune

Fifteen newspapers in the

Southeast and California

(sold in 2012)

• About.com

• caloriecount.com,

a diet and nutrition

Community

• consumersearch.com,

a product review

aggregator

• The Boston Globe

• Worcester Telegram &

Gazette

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The New York Times Paywall 512-077

11

Exhibit 3 Selected Financials of The New York Times Company ($ millions)

2011 2010 2009 2008

Revenues

Advertising 1221 1300 1336 1771

Circulation 941 931 936 910

Other 160 162 167 258

Total Revenues 2323 2393 2440 2940

Operating Costs

Production Costs 957 962 1021 1310

SG&A 1020 1054 1153 1328

Depreciation and amortization 116 121 134 144

Total Operating Costs 2094 2137 2308 2783

Operating Profit/Loss 57 234 74 (41)

Net Income/Loss (40) 108 20 (58)

Source: Compiled from company annual reports and press release.

Note: In 2011, the company took a non-cash charge of $161 million for the write-down of goodwill at the Regional
Media Group.

Exhibit 4 Print Subscriptions to The New York Times

Source: Casewriter, based on data from Audit Bureau of Circulation and publisher’s statements.

0

200,000

400,000

600,000

800,000

1,000,000

1,200,000

1,400,000

1,600,000

Q4

2007

Q1

2008

Q2

2008

Q3

2008

Q4

2008

Q1

2009

Q2

2009

Q3

2009

Q4

2009

Q1

2010

Q2

2010

Q3

2010

Q4

2010

Q1

2011

S
u

b
sc

ri
p

ti
o

n
s

Date

New York Times Print Subscriptions

Sunday Print Weekday Average Print Saturday Print

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512-077 The New York Times Paywall

12

Exhibit 5 Number of Newspapers and Total Circulation (000s)

Source: Casewriter, based on data from Newspaper Association of America.

Exhibit 6 Newspaper Advertising and Classified Revenues ($ millions)

Source: Casewriter, based on data from Newspaper Association of America.

0

200

400

600

800

1,000

1,200

1,400

1,600

0

10,000

20,000

30,000

40,000

50,000

60,000

70,000

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

Weekday Cirulation Sunday Circulation

Weekday Newspapers Sunday Newspapers

$0

$5,000

$10,000

$15,000

$20,000

$25,000

$30,000

$35,000

$40,000

$45,000

$50,000

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

National Retail Classified Total Print Online

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The New York Times Paywall 512-077

13

Exhibit 7 Top 25 Daily Newspapers in the U.S. by Circulation in 2011

Rank State Newspaper Name
Average Daily

Circulation

1 NY Wall Street Journal 2,096,169

2 DC USA Today 1,784,242

3 NY New York Times 1,150,589

4 NY New York Daily News 605,677

5 CA Los Angeles Times 572,998

6 CA San Jose Mercury News 527,568

7 NY New York Post 512,067

8 DC Washington Post 507,465

9 IL Chicago Tribune 425,370

10 TX Dallas Morning News 409,642

11 NY Newsday 404,542

12 IL Chicago Sun-Times 389,353

13 TX Houston Chronicle 369,710

14 CO Denver Post 353,115

15 PA Philadelphia Inquirer 331,134

16 MN Star-Tribune 298,147

17 AZ Arizona Republic 292,838

18 CA Orange County Register 270,809

19 OH Cleveland Plain Dealer 243,299

20 WA Seattle Times 242,814

21 OR Oregonian 242,784

22 FL St. Petersburg Times 240,024

23 MI Detroit Free Press (e) 234,579

24 CA San Francisco Chronicle 220,515

25 CA San Diego Union-Tribune 219,347

Source: Audit Bureau of Circulation, compiled by Poynter Institute; http://www.poynter.org/latestnews/mediawire/
151696/wall-street-journal-usa-today-new-york-times-top-latest-circulation-report/, accessed February 2012.

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512-077 The New York Times Paywall

14

Exhibit 8 Online Newspaper Web Traffic in the U.S. (unique monthly visitors)

Source: Nielsen Online, MegaPanel data.

Exhibit 9 TimesSelect Subscriptions over Time

Source: Company public communications.

0

10,000,000

20,000,000

30,000,000

40,000,000

50,000,000

60,000,000

70,000,000

80,000,000

Jan-04 Jan-05 Jan-06 Jan-07 Jan-08 Jan-09

0

135,000

156,000

183,000

198,690

220,090
224,580 227,000

0

50,000

100,000

150,000

200,000

250,000

Sep 2005 Nov 2005 Jan 2006 Jun 2006 Sep 2006 Apr 2006 Jun 2007 Sep 2007

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The New York Times Paywall 512-077

15

Exhibit 10 Source of Traffic to The Times Website

Source: comScore Media Metrix, http://www.comscoredatamine.com/2011/03/google-most-popular-incoming-traffic-

source-worldwide-for-the-new-york-times/, accessed February 2012.

Exhibit 11 Comparison of Annual Subscription Rates for Online Content

Source: Adapted from chart by Michael DeGusta, theunderstatement, http://theunderstatement.com/post/4019228737/
digital-subscription-prices-visualized-aka-the-new, accessed February 2012.

0

50

100

150

200

250

300

350

400

450

500

Hulu Plus Netflix USA Today The
Economist

The Wall
Street

Journal

The New
York Times

Annual Subscription Rates in US Dollars

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512-077 The New York Times Paywall

16

Exhibit 12 Paid Digital Subscribers to The Times

Source: Company, from public announcements.

0

100,000

224,000

324,000

390,000

0

50,000

100,000

150,000

200,000

250,000

300,000

350,000

400,000

450,000

Mar 2011 Apr 2011 Jul 2011 Oct 2011 Dec 2011

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The New York Times Paywall 512-077

17

Exhibit 13 Online Newspaper Web Traffic

(a) Number of unique visitors (millions)

(b) Page Views (millions)

Source: comScore.

0

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

May-2010 Aug-2010 Nov-2010 Feb-2011 May-2011 Aug-2011 Nov-2011 Jan-2012

NYTIMES.COM USATODAY.COM WASHINGTONPOST.COM

LATIMES.COM WSJ.COM CHICAGOTRIBUNE.COM

0

100

200

300

400

500

600

700

800

May-2010 Aug-2010 Nov-2010 Feb-2011 May-2011 Aug-2011 Nov-2011 Jan-2012

NYTIMES.COM USATODAY.COM WASHINGTONPOST.COM

LATIMES.COM WSJ.COM CHICAGOTRIBUNE.COM

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512-077 The New York Times Paywall

18

Endnotes

1 “Fees And Free-Riders: The News Content Paywall Debate,” On Point with Tom Ashbrook, March 28, 2011,
http://onpoint.wbur.org/2011/03/28/behind-the-paywall, accessed February 2012.

2 Peter Kafka, “Q&A: New York Times Digital Czar Martin Nisenholtz on the Paywall, Pricing, Google and
Apple,” AllThingsD, March 18, 2011, http://allthingsd.com/20110318/qa-new-york-times-digital-czar-martin-
nisenholtz-on-the-paywall-pricing-google-and-apple/, accessed February 2012.

3 Michael DeGusta, “Digital Subscription Prices Visualized (aka The New York Times Is Delusional),”
theunderstatement, March 21, 2011, http://theunderstatement.com/post/4019228737/digital-subscription-prices-
visualized-aka-the-new, accessed February 2012.

4 Mathew Ingram, “If a paywall is your only strategy, then you are doomed,” GigaOm, October 31, 2011,
http://gigaom.com/2011/10/31/if-a-paywall-is-your-only-strategy-then-you-are-doomed/, accessed February
2012.

5 Keach Hagey, “A Washington Post paywall? No time soon,” Politico, October 20, 2011, http://www.
politico.com/news/stories/1011/66429.html, accessed February 2012.

6 Amy Chozick, “Fourth-Quarter Profit and Revenue Declined at the New York Times Company,” The New
York Times, February 2, 2012.

7 The New York Times Company, “Our Core Purpose,” http://www.nytco.com/careers/mission.html,
accessed February 2012.

8 Page One: Inside the New York Times, Magnolia Entertainment (DVD, 2011).

9 The Associated Press, “New York Times selling regional papers for $143M,” December 27, 2011.
http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9RT7E3G1.htm, accessed February 2012.

10 U.S. Census Bureau, Service Annual Survey, 2009, http://www2.census.gov/services/sas/data/
Historical/sas-09.pdf, accessed February 2012.

11 Nicholas Carr, “The Great Unbundling: Newspapers & the Net,” Encyclopedia Britannica Blog, April 7, 2008,
http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2008/04/the-great-unbundling-newspapers-the-net/, accessed February
2012.

12 Page One: Inside the New York Times, Magnolia Entertainment (DVD, 2011).

13 Clay Shirky (blog), “Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable,” March 13, 2009, http://www.shirky.
com/weblog/2009/03/newspapers-and-thinking-the-unthinkable/, accessed February 2012.

14 Pew Research Center, “Understanding the participatory news consumer,” March 1, 2010, http://www.
pewinternet.org/~/media/Files/Reports/2010/PIP_Understanding_the_Participatory_News_Consumer.pdf,
accessed February 2012.

15 Hal Varian, “Newspaper economics: offline and online,” Google Public Policy Blog, March 9, 2010, http://
googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2010/03/newspaper-economics-online-and-offline.html, accessed February
2012.

16 Richard Perez-Pena and Mary Chapman, “Detroit’s Daily Papers Are Now Not So Daily,” The New
York Times, March 30, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/31/business/media/31paper.html, accessed
February 2012.

17 Jaclyn Trop, “Ann Arbor to stop the presses,” The Detroit News, March 24, 2009. http://www.detroitnews.
com/article/20090324/BIZ/903240382, accessed February 2012.

18 Sarah Shearman, “Times loses 1.2 million readers,” August 16, 2010, Media Week (UK), http://www.
mediaweek.co.uk/news/1022312/Times-loses-12m-readers/ , accessed February 2012.

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The New York Times Paywall 512-077

19

19 Liz Gannes, “NBC Jeff Zucker Dishes on Strike, Hulu, iTunes, Kitchen Sink,” GigaOm, February 27, 2008,
http://gigaom.com/video/nbc-jeff-zucker-dishes-on-strike-hulu-itunes-kitchen-sink/, accessed February 2012.

20 Mercedes Bunz, “Can the Apple iPad save newspapers?” January 28, 2010, PDA The Digital Content Blog,
The Guardian (UK), http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pda/2010/jan/28/can-apple-ipad-save-newspapers,
accessed February 2012.

21 Judith Burns, “Apple’s iPad may save the newspaper industry, says Rupert Murdoch,” Dow Jones
Newswires, April 7, 2010, The Australian, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/media/rupert-murdoch-to-stop-
google-from-taking-free-content/story-e6frg996-1225850986707, accessed February 2012.

22 Reynolds Journalism Institute, 2012 Mobile Media News Consumption Survey, May 2012,
http://www.rjionline.org/news/2012-rji-mobile-media-news-consumption-survey-description, accessed
October 2012.

23 Beth Lipton Krigel, “N.Y. Times lifts overseas fee,” July 14, 1998, c/net (CBS Interactive),
http://news.cnet.com/N.Y.-Times-lifts-overseas-fee/2100-1023_3-213316.html, accessed February 2012.

24 Dylan, “Why NYT‘s Thomas Friedman Hates TimesSelect,” June 13, 2006, FishbowlNY (blog), Mediabistro,
http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlny/why-nyts-thomas-friedman-hates-timesselect_b2384, accessed
February 2012.

25 Vivian Schiller, “A Letter to Readers About TimesSelect,“ Member Center, The New York Times, 2007,
http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/lettertoreaders.html, accessed February 2012.

26 Mathew Ingram, “Don’t penalize loyal users with paywalls, reward them,” GigaOm, December 20, 2011,
http://gigaom.com/2011/12/20/dont-penalize-loyal-users-with-paywalls-reward-them, accessed February
2012.

27 Jeff Jarvis, “Why not a reverse meter?” Buzzmachine, December 19, 2011, http://www.buzzmachine.
com/2011/12/19/why-not-a-reverse-meter/, accessed February 2012.

28 Ken Doctor, “At Almost 400,000 Digital Subscribers, Inside the New York Times Pay Strategy, Year 2,”
Newsonomics, February 2, 2012, http://newsonomics.com/at-almost-400000-digital-subscribers-inside-the-new-
york-times-pay-strategy-year-2/, accessed February 2012.

29 PSFK, “Lincoln Offers Frequent NY Times Readers a Way around the Paywall,” 2011,
http://www.psfk.com/2011/03/lincoln-offers-frequent-ny-times-readers-a-way-around-the-paywall.html,
accessed February 2012.

30 “Lincoln to Sponsor New York Times Readers,” The Wall Street Journal, March 22, 2011, http://
online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704461304576216770555617038.html, accessed February 2012.

31 The New York Times, 2011 Earnings Report.

32 The New York Times Company, “The New York Times Company Reports 2011 Fourth-Quarter and Full-
Year Results,” press release, February 2, 2012, http://www.nytco.com/pdf/FYRE20LEA11E.pdf, accessed
February 2012.

33 Doug Mataconis, “London Times Web Traffic Falls 66% After Paywall Goes Up,” Outside the Beltway,
July 19, 2010, http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/london-times-web-traffic-falls-66-after-paywall-goes-up/,
accessed February 2012.

34 The New York Times Company, “The New York Times Company Reports 2011 Fourth-Quarter and Full-
Year Results,” press release, February 2, 2012.

35 “Fees And Free-Riders: The News Content Paywall Debate,” On Point with Tom Ashbrook, March 28,
2011, http://onpoint.wbur.org/2011/03/28/behind-the-paywall, accessed February 12, 2012.

36 Frédéric Filloux, “Cracking the Paywall,” Monday Note, January 8, 2012, http://www.mondaynote.com/
2012/01/08/cracking-the-paywall/, dated January 8, 2012.

For the exclusive use of N. NARRA, 2022.

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