The New York Times has launched its newest experiment in building a new business model for the web. Which is to say that you can read 20 articles per month for free, but then you’ll be politely but firmly encouraged to subscribe. Print subscribers (any subscription, even Sunday only) get free access to the web version. For $15 per four weeks you can get access to the website and their smartphone applications for iPhone and Android. For $20 you get the website plus their iPad application. For $35 you get the website, the tablet edition, and the smartphone edition. All of these plans are currently 99 cents for the first four weeks. And you can still subscribe on the Kindle for $20 per month (I suspect the premium there is for lack of advertising).
Confused? Here are Tisch’s free options.
- 1851 to 2007 via Proquest Historical Newspapers.
- 1985 to the present via Academic Onefile
- 1980 to the present via Lexis-Nexis
And, for traditionalists, we have print and/or microfilm coverage as well. The microfilm includes some material contributed by freelancers which had to be pulled from electronic editions after the Tasini decision.
How are our versions different? Proquest allows you to look at full-page images, so you can see what the original context of the story was, and it has good options for precise searches and browsing by date. Academic Onefile is also browseable by date. Lexis-Nexis is purely text, and search-only. I use all three for different types of searches.
Which I suppose is mildly confusing, but we compete well on price.
My colleague Martha Kelehan, our social sciences bibliographer, reminds me we also have access (1980-present) through Factiva. It has a convenient dashboard of major US news sources like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times set up to allow you to see the headlines for each section and click through to read them.
Amazon reports that Kindle subscribers will have full access to the NY Times website.
Additional Update (7/28/11)
Tufts qualifies for the discounted college readership digital subscription option, which runs $7.50 per month for web and smartphone access.