The Online Journalism Review inteviews Martin Nisenholtz of NY Times Digital who is a ready counter-argument to Dan Gillmor’s call for a freeing of the archives. Until banner ad revenues outstrip the royalties they curently earn from subscription databases such as Factiva and Lexis-Nexis, there is no way they’re opening up the barn door.
“We’re not about to give away something that the marketplace is paying a huge premium for already,” Nisenholtz told me, “unless you could get a lot more than that premium in some other way, which you can’t, believe me, there’s no way. There’s no analysis to show that Google AdWords gets you anything close to what we make on archives on the Web — never mind all the money we make on the after-market sales. It’s so ridiculous as to be laughable.
It’s a marketplace of a few vendors serving up proprietary content on closed systems vs. a more sustainable marketplace of any and every website around the world looking to link to and reference New York’s paper of record. And what about The Long Tail?