New York Times Puts 'Virtual Wall' Between Recipes and Readers
The newspaper announced it would be implementing a paywall for the Cooking section.
The New York Times announced today that much of the content from its popular recipes site and accompanying app will now only be available through “digital subscriptions.”
According to a statement from the newspaper, “For $5 every four weeks, Cooking subscribers will have unlimited access to more than 18,000 tested and curated recipes from Times journalists.”
The move may have arisen from the fact that the media company wants to capitalize on Cooking’s one million newsletter subscribers and 10 million unique viewers monthly.
In order to access Cooking from now on, readers will have to create a Times account. Registered users “will have access to a limited selection of editor-curated recipes, collections and guides for free,” but they won’t have the freedom to explore Cooking’s extensive of collection of recipes anymore.
In order to promote the new subscription the Times is offering anyone who registers for a Cooking account to be enrolled in 28-day free trial subscription to test out the service.
In a Letter from the Editor, New York Times food editor Sam Sifton admits that the switch might be an “annoying” for some of the newspaper’s readers, but he also explains that the “virtual wall” they’re erecting around Cooking won’t cost people more than “a single, monthly trip to the coffee shop for a latte.”
Sifton makes it clear that it's not the publication's intent to charge readers a fee for something they previously had access to for free, but rather that the change will help continue to fund the difficult and often expensive work the Cooking section does and will do in the future.
“We travel ceaselessly, and cook every day. We test our recipes relentlessly. We photograph and make videos about them, we think beautifully,” he writes. “Your subscription will help us continue to do that, and better, and more.”