New York Times Content Now Free on Web

Beginning this week, The New York Times will stop charging for access to TimesSelect content. InfoWorld reports that, in addition to opening up its content to all visitors, The New York Times will also offer free access to its archives dating back to 1987, as well as access to stories published by the paper between 1851 and 1922. The site will still charge for access to stories published between 1923 and 1986. Print subscribers will get free access to the complete archives, however, the paper said.
Why? According to the NYT article,

…Many more readers started coming to the site from search engines and links on other sites instead of coming directly to These indirect readers, unable to get access to articles behind the pay wall and less likely to pay subscription fees than the more loyal direct users, were seen as opportunities for more page views and increased advertising revenue.

TimesSelect has been free to print subscribers to The Times and to some students and educators. Those who have paid in advance for access to TimesSelect will be reimbursed on a prorated basis.