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Lincoln Sponsoring Free New York Times Access Through 2011

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2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

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Do you read the news daily on NYTimes.com? If so, you could find yourself sponsored.

Lincoln, the luxury division of Ford Motor Company [NYSE: F], is paying for the subscriptions of about 200,000 online readers through the year. That's a value of about $150.

There's one major catch to the deal, though: You have to be selected; and the offer is only being extended to the heaviest users.

It's expected that about half, or 100,000, will accept the deal, which includes access to the smartphone and tablet apps.

"Our brand is one that has a lot of great news and a lot to say but isn't always heard, said Lincoln marketing communications manager Connie Fontaine, to Ad Age. "The Times did bring us this idea and we thought it was really relevant to the brand for a lot of reasons. The type of reader we'll be able to engage through this program is a thought leader."

Those who work in the media, follow the industry, or are daily consumers of information—like what you see here on High Gear Media sites—have been very curious as to how a gated system would work.

"The change will primarily affect those who are heavy consumers of the content on our Web site and on mobile applications," said the Times, in an announcement this week detailing how the system will work.

Through NYTimes.com, you can view 20 articles per month free of charge; viewing more than that will require that you have a digital subscription.

That said, if you find articles directly through Google, you'll have a limit of five articles per day.

One of the key exceptions—and the one that social-media experts will no doubt be following—is that sharing articles doesn't count toward your monthly total. "Readers who come to Times articles through links from search, blogs and social media like Facebook and Twitter will be able to read those articles, even if they have reached their monthly reading limit," said the Times, in a summary of how access work.

Beginning this week, The New York Times rolled out digital subscriptions to Canadian visitors, in a test prior to their U.S. launch on March 28.

Tell us what you think. Is this kind of visibility good for Lincoln? And is the Times' new subscription system smart, or a recipe for fewer visitors (and readers)?

[Ad Age]

 
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Comments (12)
  1. I got one of these free subscriptions and think it's so cool that Lincoln is sponsoring this offer! I'm happy to see they're giving back a little bit. I read the NY Times online daily. I was so bummed when I heard they decide to starting making users pay for content. Now I can continue reading for free until next year. I live in Manhattan and don't own a car, but it definitely made me pay attention to Lincoln for the first time.
     
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  2. Definitely made me pay attention to them. I only thing of the elderly and limousines when it comes to Lincoln, but now I think they'd hit the right target. Young,smart poor students who can't afford subscription yet, but will remember their benefactors once they get a job.
     
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  3. I think Lincoln will could more poor profit earn about if Lincoln will more ugly models and no RWD models. it is not sponsor for sports , celebrities, real luxury business ans model fashion. I knew Lincoln has quit to rival luxury brand to Cadillac, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Maybach, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, Ferrari, Lamborghini , Porsche and Infiniti. it is little more than Buick or Acura are 4% luxury brand.
     
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  4. Just a note. If you have ad blockers up, it'll block the ads and links that allow you to activate this offer. I had to deactivate ABP firefox blocker before I could see the ad. :P
     
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  5. Yeah, I was really surprised when I opened my inbox this morning and saw that I'd been selected. Very glad that I'll be able to continue being a poor college student with an expanded worldview for at least another year. :)
     
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  6. Thank you Xavier - I was unable to accept the offer and very confused before hearing your advice!
     
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  7. Actually, Lincoln isn't actually paying the New York Times for these subscriptions. They made a deal with the New York Times that they would increase their online advertising as an offset for these subscriptions. Fortunately, I'm one of the lucky 200,000. It's a saving for me since I would have gladly paid the $15 per month for the subscription. I can live without ice cream but I can't live without the New York Times.
     
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  8. Thanks for the correction, Michael...and LOL to the ice-cream comment.
    I'd venture to say it's still payment, though, if something of accepted value is as part of the deal.
     
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  9. I received the offer and accepted it, but I'm not sure I'm the right target audience. I am a heavy NY Times website reader, and I don't get the paper subscription. I was perfectly willing to pay through the paywall, although of course, I'm happy that I don't have to.
    However, I was delighted to give up my car when I moved to NYC almost 6 years ago, and I have no plans to get another car.
    Ah well, I hope Lincoln gets their money's worth from the other folks on their list.
     
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  10. Hesitated to click on the link until checking this site and Ad Age where NYT confirmed legit. Have taken the offer.
    Had already bookmarked other papers to fill in for the NYT when the fee kicked in on Monday.
    Hopefully the NYT will adjust their system over the next few months. There should be a basic no frills service at a low price, then bump it up for various apps and other frills.
     
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  11. I received an e-mail regarding the offer but there was nowhere to click. An e-mail to the NYT went unanswered and one to Lincoln referred me to the NYT. I was told when calling the NYT that the offer was not valid, so I assume that at least in some cases it is a scam.
     
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  12. I was offered the Lincoln free access but it hasn't work and I am locked out. I think there were technical glitches. Seemed to good to be true. And, yes, it made me think better of Lincoln. Sigh.
     
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