If You Are a Student, You Can Stop Complaining That It Costs $ to Read the N.Y. Times Online

The Times has just announced that college students (or, for that matter, anyone with an .edu e-mail suffix) can have free access to the entire contents of the newspaper’s website, including the previously gated TimesSelect material. This strikes me as a huge move, and one that will reverberate throughout every discussion of the new business model/s for journalism. [Addendum: As noted by various commenters below, some non-.edu suffixes from non-U.S. universities may also work; but alumni .edu addresses may not.]


bunnyblaster

The effort would have been worthwhile if any of the Canadian universities have email suffix's with .edu. Luckily, it is provided for some universities anyways via the library network.

I am curious, which universities in the US offer email suffixs of .edu because I have not encountered any yet.

Isaac

I just entered fakesteruser@nonschool.ac.uk in the signup form, and it went though. So did fakesteruser@nonschool.ac.il. (Apologies to anyone who might happen to actually own those addresses.) My gmail address did not.

So, it seems that the offer is, in fact, properly internationalized.

ChrisFJM

Surprise surprise, doesn't work with my (French) uni email address.. perhaps if our, hem, universities, weren't so keen on each doing their own thing, it would be easier for parties outside of the system to keep track of things.

What's a real shame is that I have absolutely no qualms with paying for subscriptions if I feel the material is worth it. No free-riding here!

ciara86

That's a little unfair, i'm an economics undergrad in europe (ireland more specifically) and I can't think of a single college with a .edu suffix on their e-mail addresses. For that matter I can't think of a single web address with .edu at the end of it. Maybe it's only in America?

cgrl

Using the .edu suffix doesn't benefit students in coutries where it isn't used (eg in the UK universities use .ac.uk) but does give free access to everyone who has an alumni e-mail address ending in .edu. I don't object to getting free access even once I'm an alumna rather than a student, but this criteria does seem to defeat the purpose of the idea.

Sloar

I'm not sure who bunnyblaster has been corresponding with, but just about every public and private university in the US has a .edu suffix on their websites and e-mails. It hadn't occurred to me that other countries don't work that way. I'm not entirely sure why country code suffixes take precedence in every other country beside the U.S. I think that's mostly a historical artifact of past (and continuing) U.S. control of domain naming.

I don't necessarily see a problem with this since the New York Times is a U.S. newspaper with their primary readership in the U.S. It's a little annoying for students at non-U.S. colleges, but I guess they don't have to offer access to anyone for free.

mwhorton

not surprisingly, the article is misleading. go here: http://www.nytimes.com/university to see that the only criteria is that "You must be a student or faculty member with a valid college or university e-mail address to be eligible for this offer." No mention of .edu or US.

GeologyRocks

I think it is understood in the US that if you are at a University you will have a *.edu email address assigned to you, whether you use it or not is up to the individual person. This is the way that the "Facebook" maintained a college only social networking site until recently opening up to anyone.

scott cunningham

Is this a form of price discrimination maybe? .edu, for students, is highly correlated with income and willingness to pay. By charging a zero price for .edu, they are putting the paper in the hands of students who have a low willingness to pay currently. By also providing it to professors for free, it may be like publishing houses providing textbooks to professors for free - to encourage the promotion and use of the material in courses. As the students graduate, depending on their price and income elasticities of demand for the paper, some of these students will become readers of the paper at the higher price.

jourman2

So I signed up and they asked me when I'm going to graduate in their list of questions. Think they'll revoke my subscription when I do?

meomaxy

It's sort of like dropping off piles of free newspapers at the college dorms or giving the campus library a free subscription to the archives.

As a business move, I assume the hope is that these students will like the service so much that they will be more likely to pay for it when they graduate.

As an ideological move, I assume the hope is that the New York Times will enhance the penetration of its ideas into the college campus, increasing the number of citations in academic publications and and enhancing the reputation of the newspaper.

Nolan Matthias

I'm pretty sure you just need to have a university email, regardless of suffix.

This is a great marketing strategy. Not only are they developing younger readers by doing so, they are also building a base in the future workforce. Might as well get them accustomed to reading the NYT sooner rather than later.

Nolan M

pkimelma

So, who is going to create a domain such as freakuni.edu with one-time email addresses, so I can get Times Select for free? I guess I need to ask the mailinator guys to add such a domain.

anne

I just tried to register with my handy-dandy @alumni.uchicago.edu address and was denied. I don't know if it's because that address was already associated with a (non-Times Select) NYT account or if it's because their filter looks for "alumni."

doctormellen

The only reason the NY Times is making this move is cause it still wants to influence the way the students think as student's minds are young and malleable. The Times are afraid that they are losing their grip on keeping their bias alive. Just and opinion. Perhaps if it wasn't true they would have done it ages ago and when those students graduated, they would still be buying the paper even after college.

hombrelobo

An absolutely fantastic idea. I am bloggin about it (in Spanish) at: Cómo atraer lectores jóvenes: regala tu periódico

jacknguy

Some high schools offer their students .edu email addresses.

shirin_tejani

Yeah.. didn't work with my alumni lse.ac.uk account either... How did Isaac manage??

shirin_tejani

Accepts all current university accounts (ac.uk works)... alumni@university.ac.uk doesn't work...

CollegeCat

Most universities only allow you to maintain your .edu address for 3-6 months after graduation or explusion from a university. That would eliminate the alumni from the pile.

It's not working for me with my .edu, but I'll keep trying. That would rock.