NYT Paywalls The Wirecutter

Amusing that this news comes from a paywalled WSJ article. But the basic info is in front of the WSJ paywall:

Dunno if you need another reason to say “fuck the New York Times” but there ya go.



Well, fuck. I’d probably pay for a UK-centric version of The Wirecutter (and I kind of do, in that I have a sub to the equivalent of Consumer Reports), but no way I’d pay for the real one given that half the time the recommendations aren’t available here.

Man, that sucks.

The site was already monetized through affiliate links. That was the beauty of Lam’s idea in the first place. Shame the NYT had to screw it up.

Sure, that’s easy enough, but the fact remains that it will make the Wirecutter less relevant. And every time I post a link to their site, which is often, someone is gonna complain about it.

My parents subscribe to the NYT and passed out a family sub account. But as @stusser noted, this sucks. They are definitely a lesser resource now.

Is there anything else out there that’s poised to fill the gap?

A vast array of dodgy SEO review sites

A NY Times sub is $4 a month for the first year. After a year you call up and say you are going to cancel because you don’t read it enough to pay full price, and they offer the $4 price again. It’s easily worth that to me.

That said, I really don’t go to the Wirecutter a lot anymore. They are fine for a starting point, but often I find I am not overly thrilled with their top pick.

Rtings.com is the place for some things that Wirecutter covered. Recommended. They might also decide to cover more things now.

I’ve found (and mentioned here a few times) Wirecutter’s recommendations have gone downhill over time. Sucks, but not as much as it would have a few years back.

They’ve been behind the general NYTimes paywall for some time now, as I discover intermittently when I try to read them on my phone.

Rtings has a paywall, too.

Why can’t they paywall something like facebook.

So the geniuses-in-charge at NYT saw the recent OnlyFans news & decided that they had to do something similarly stupid and self-destructive for WireCutter?!

I’m sure the idiots wanted more profit than ad impressions were returning, but what will happen instead is that they’ll get none of the profit from their newly-dead site.


There are some assumptions here that they’re greedy and the ads or affiliate links should have been enough. Do we know that? Was the Wirecutter profitable? Was it before the NYT acquisition?

To be fair to the New York Times… I just read an article that claimed that users would get nine free articles a month at the Wirecutter before they would be prompted to pay for additional content. And their metrics indicate that most readers read nine or fewer articles per month. So it doesn’t seem like a very high paywall (and if that’s the case I would say why are they even doing this? I maybe so they can throw an additional bullet point on the reasons why you should subscribe to the the NYT?)

Before the acquisition, yes it was. Lam was brilliant, basically inventing a new business model. Now, who knows?