The Annoying Times

I’ve been watching the NYTimes recently and have noticed a few disturbing trends but let me focus on their web site. They have started putting in “interstitial ads”—you know, those really annoying ads that appear before and between web pages and annoy you for 30 seconds or so. I, and as far as I know most consumers really hate these. They defeat the purpose of a web site, or print media, which is to get quick access to information. This isn’t tv where you can go get a snack after 14 minutes of watching. My theory is that when online media properties resort to these kinds of ads, they have made a decision to take very short run revenue at the cost of long-run audience erosion. This isn’t a good sign.

As we’ve been saying on these pages for awhile, the newspaper industry is going to need a new business model to survive if indeed much of it can survive.