The New York Times Paywall & Sharing Mart
Last Wednesday we saw a brief presentation on Sharing Mart. S-Mart revolves around the idea that content trading is going to be the next stage in the evolution of the Internet.
There are many skeptics that don’t think content will ever be heavily traded on the Internet given that so much of it is free and easily accessible. Why, they ask, would people pay for content if they have access to YouTube, Spotify and Wikipedia?
If this is true, the entire newspaper industry was going to experience a slow, painful death as more and more people got their news online for free. People laughed at the NYT when they put up its “paywall” last March which required online visitors to pay to read their content.
However, the paywall seems to be working. The paywall helped the ailing newspaper turn a modest third-quarter profit this year.
This is very good news for Sharing Mart because it suggests that content doesn’t have to be free to survive online. Granted, the NYT is not “user-generated” but its 324,000 online subscribers decided to pay a monthly fee rather than heading over to Google News.