I’m glad to see the TimesSelect paywall coming down, but I think I’ve got to disagree with Tim Lee’s view that the failure of this gambit heralds the imminent demise of the subscription-only model for The Wall Street Journal. Rather, like Megan I think the basic problem was that The New York Times opinion pages just weren’t worth paying for. I don’t even think this is especially because of any failings on the part of the Times‘ columnists. Rather, it’s just that unless your political commentators are adhering to completely marginal viewpoints there are always going to be plenty of close substitutes available for free.
To charge money for something on the web, you need to be providing content that’s not only good, but also reasonably unique.