The new, premium level of membership will be called TimesSelect, and participants will have exclusive access to Op-Ed and news columnists on NYTimes.com, easy and in-depth access to the paper's online archives, and early access to certain articles on the site, among other features.
Home-delivery subscribers will automatically receive TimesSelect membership. For non-subscribers, it will cost $49.95. Most news, features, and multimedia on the Times site will remain free.
The Times has been an online success and has become a ubiquitous fixture in the blogosphere in part by giving it away free. (Rumors abound that permanent links to Times content for bloggers may also go away, or require a fee from bloggers.) This change to paid content may make business sense, but I can't help that this would solidify the paper's new identity as a "blue-state" journal, as opposed to the Paper of Record.