Sun digital subscription limit will include social sites
As many of you know, The Baltimore Sun will be setting up a tollgate for online readers in the next few weeks. Childs Walker has the story here. I'm glad we're giving this a try. Producing original news is expensive. The paper doesn't make as much money from online advertising as it does from print. And spending millions to report stories that you then give away for free doesn't seem like a great business model. My friends in online media disagree vehemently, however.
As Walker notes, one difference between the Sun's digital subscription and the NYT's is in the treatment of links from blogs, Facebook, Twitter etc. The Times limits you to free reads of 20 articles a month -- but only for clicking on the Times' site. You can read unlimited online NYT pieces if you access them from blogs -- or even if you copy and paste the headline into a search engine and click on the result. The Sun, however, Walker reports, "will count links from social media and other websites as part of a user's monthly allotment of 15 views."
So Len Lazarick at MarylandReporter.com wonders, what's a new aggregation site to do? Len:
So my first reaction is that MarylandReporter.com’s State Roundup can’t very well stop linking to the comprehensive coverage in the Sun, even if it causes readers to drive into the limit. Maybe we should also subscribe to the other publications as well, and at least let readers know about coverage elsewhere, even if it is behind a wall.
That’s my preliminary thought about the Sun’s new subscription charge. I’d be interested to hear what our readers think about this development, and what we should do about it in the roundup.