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Sunday, June 19, 2011

New York Post Puts Up Stupid Paywall For iPad, And How To Get Around It



By: Kareem 

The New York Post (NYP) put up a paywall yesterday for users wanting to access the site through the iPad’s opera browser. Instead of giving users access to the site it shoves an ad in their face and tells them their going to have to pony up if they want to read their news. There’s already a way around it (for now at least) making it probably the dumbest move by a company in a few weeks.

This is just outright stupid, The NYP expects users to pay $1.99 for the app and the $6.99 a month for the subscription, which still makes it less than the print version which comes in at $14.99 a month. Nonetheless neither price include the other’s service and there is no mention of an in-between price for both, which most paywall blocked magazines provide. So you can pay about $21.98 a month to get both, opt for one or the other, or do what I assume most people will be doing which is find another source for the news. Honestly that’s pretty ridiculous pricing considering how many other sources of free news there are on the web.

The good news is that the paywall only affects iPad users who visit the site via Safari. Which is a pretty odd group for them to target, but I’m sure they have their reasons. There’s no Android NYP app and it’s still unblocked on every other browser and OS.

The thing that’s wild to me is how stupid the print industry seems to be when it comes to putting their information on the web. It seems like the don’t understand that this is an entirely different format with entirely different monetization options. There is money to be made by those with the skill to provide proper content. But you have to understand that the money to be made online is rarely in the form of direct subscription services, imagine if Google started charging users a monthly fee to run searches. How many people do you think would switch over to Bing or Yahoo? The money to be made online is from free content that’s ad supported. I’m sure it would be pretty easy for a site as large as the NYP to sell ad space, yet there are hardly any on their site. I’m not saying stuff it with pre-rolls and pop-ups but a few more couldn’t hurt much. I’m also sure they could hire someone to come in and really get them some well targeted ads. People pay for every click on one of those ads you know and in volume those numbers get pretty high. I’m sure not as high as your subscription service in print gets, but if you have good content and you think people are willing to pay monthly to access it, don’t you think you could attract more people by giving away the content and hoping they click on some ads. If one of your articles gets 100,000 views every few hours (which I’m sure they do) and 1% click on an ad that could be some good money depending that’s $1,000 at $0.01 a click. Not bad for a few hours right? Not to mention you wouldn’t be slapping your iPad customers in the face. You might get some people who don’t like the ads and you might lose a few regular readers but it would pale in comparison to the amount you will lose if you keep putting up paywalls. 

How To Get Around The Stupid Stupid New York Post Paywall.

Since the NYP was gracious enough to only block the Safari browser, the default iOS browser most people use because they don’t want to be troubled with downloading anything else (and really who could blame ‘em? There’s nothing wrong with Safari). All you have to do to get around their little paywall is download a different browser. There are a couple of decent free ones in the App Store you can download my favorite one Opera here or in the links below. After it’s installed just start it up and go on over to and you will no longer be blocked by some stupid f’ing paywall.

There it is and that’s that.

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