The New York Times experiments on Canadians

There was a big hullabaloo when the New York Times activated their pay wall on March 28. Hundreds of comments from disgruntled readers flooded the NYT under the article about the new system when it was activated. If you are Canadian, you had even more of a reason to be outraged.

I read the NYT from two different laptops, at home and at work, so the pay wall isn’t a huge impediment as apparently each IP address gets 20 free articles a month. I didn’t pay too much attention to the issue until I started getting pop-up notices saying that I had “five articles left to read this month” at work, where I suppose I do the majority of my NTY reading. A link on the notice takes you to a letter by NYT publisher Arthur Sulzberger explaining the new system.

“As you may know, on March 17, we introduced digital subscriptions in Canada. The Canadian launching allowed us to test our systems and fine-tune the user interface and customer experience. On March 28, we launched globally,” wrote Sulzberger.

Am I the only one that missed this? Out of all the analysis of what the NYT pay wall means for the future of news I didn’t see one sentence devoted to the fact that the system was perfected on the Canadians. Not that that means anything to the future of news, but there was a lot of coverage on the issue and it is funny that the Canadians were used as lab rats. Maybe I’m just juvenile… Thoughts?

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About Daniel Fitzsimmons

Staff writer for the Manhattan weeklies Our Town, Our Town Downtown and the West Side Spirit.
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