While The New York Times still limits non-paying readers to ten articles per month, the paper is now allowing unlimited video content to escape the paywall, according to a press release Tuesday. To cover the cost of allowing free access to the content, the paper is partnering with Microsoft and Acura to run advertisements before each video.
As we continue to tell stories through video and increase our offerings, we want to ensure NYTimes.com users can watch and explore our video content with ease. We are grateful to Acura and Microsoft for providing the support we need to continue to expand our best-in-class video content and deliver it to our vast NYTimes.com audience.
The free videos will be available on the NYTimes.com website as well as via mobile apps. Viewed videos will not count against a non-subscriber’s ten-article monthly limit.
The paper’s move was prompted in large part by the success of its paywall policy. In 2011, the company controversially, but successfully, began requiring paid subscriptions to access its online content. The decision, which many critics said would doom the company in the face of free online media, has in fact arguably saved it. After instituting the paywall on March 28, 2011, the paper acquired hundreds of thousands of new subscribers and more than $100 million in additional revenue.
Now that it is financially secure, the switch to free video content is expected to be permanent and will give the Times the flexibility to charge for valuable long form written content while simultaneously competing with other news organizations that offer free ad-based videos, such as CNN.