It is interesting that the print edition’s circulation has tumbled 7 percent in the last year. One of the main reasons I think paywalls ought to be considered is because they help stop cannibalization of a profitable product (the newspaper) by a deeply unprofitable one (the ad-only Web site). This number dents that idea a bit, though there’s no way of telling whether that 7 percent decline would have been more if the Web site were free. But the NYT doesn’t attempt to explain why, in a year when the interest in financial news has skyrocketed, the FT’s circulation is down so much—while its competitor, the Journal, is up.
Lastly, the NYT doesn’t explore the obvious: that the FT’s website is just not very good. It’s ugly. It’s not user-friendly. It needs a lot of work. It’s no fun paying good money for something as poor as that, the main reason I recently declined to renew my Web subscription and now stick to the print paper, which is a far better information-delivery system than its Web site.