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Yahoo! to Pipe Premium NYTimes.com

By Erin Joyce

The New York Times Digital has gained a new distribution arm for its paid content pitches: Internet information company Yahoo! .

The NYTimes.com and Yahoo! News have struck a deal in which the NYTimes.com paid archives are to be piped into Yahoo!'s news sections (http://www.news.yahoo.com). The deal alters a standing distribution agreement the two companies have. A NYTimes.com spokesperson said the NYTimes.com would be offering fewer free articles on Yahoo! as a result.

The agreement marks the first time that Yahoo! is offering paid products per article, which is one of a handful of premium pitches that the NYTimes.com has unveiled in the past few months. The move also dovetails with Yahoo!'s recent launch of premium search services on its site, as both companies look for alternative sources of revenue beyond advertising dollars.

The companies said relevant search results in the Yahoo! News section that hit on past NYTimes.com articles would appear as a paid archive and branded as content from The New York Times. The section will offer archived articles dating back to January 1, 2000 for $2.50 each, the same price users pay on the NYTimes.com site, and will be conducted on the Yahoo! News section. The arrangement won't change any of the free content that the NYTimes.com pipes into Yahoo!

The NYTimes.com distribution deal follows the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based portal's efforts to glean new sales from its own Premium Document Search that it launched in January with software company devine, Inc.

Like the NYTimes.com archive charges per article, the Yahoo! search prices range from $1 to $4, which can be sold in bundled monthly subscription charges.

Catherine Levene, vice president of strategy and business development for New York Times Digital, called the partnership an important step in the digital division's premium content strategy.

Chris McGill, director of Yahoo! News, said, "we are thrilled to be offering an archive service with one of the most prestigious brands in news today, The New York Times."

Financial terms of the arrangement, or what kind of percentage Yahoo! might take from sales of the articles, were not released. Yahoo! claims that it reaches over 237 million visitors each month.

During the past few months, The New York Times Digital has unveiled a handful of premium pitches to readers, including streaming videos from its Critic's Choice events at $4.95, sold in bundled sales of $19.95, for example and bundling sales of past columns from writers such as Tom Friedman and William Safire. In addition, Boston.com, the Web site of the NYT-owned Boston Globe newspaper, has launched a paid personals section on its site.