A month ago, the NYTimes decided to start charging for online subscriptions. The first results are out – and they are reporting a whopping 100,000 subscribers so far.

I could point out some of the (flaws? intentional loopholes?) in their paywall system that make it relatively simple to access the content for free. But there is another fact that CNN fails to mention: the Times gave away a ton of free subscriptions. I am one of those 100,000 – and I didn’t even have to give them my credit card. So even with handing out free subscriptions they can’t break 100,000 (to put it in context a bit that’s about 1% of people with the NYTimes iPhone app, not to mention those who access it from other devices or the internet). Not the best sign for the plan of the future.

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