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Now charging...

By Staff and wire reports

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 9, 2001


From free to fee
Simply attracting a lot of "eyeballs" hasn't translated into advertising profits. So some Web sites are turning to subscriptions to pay the bills. But will people pay for what they used to get for free?
Here are some of the Web sites and services that have added fees in recent months:

Baseball: Major League Baseball (www.majorleaguebaseball.com) will charge fans $9.95 to listen to games over the Internet, which also will be available from Real Networks (www.real.com).

Britannica.com: The encyclopedia site will start subscription and premium services, such as BritannicaSchool.com for the K-12 education market, this year, though specifics and prices have not been released.

E-Trade: The online discount brokerage started charging a $15 quarterly fee to customers who have account balances of less than $5,000 and who have not made more than one trade in the previous six months.

Internet service providers: Bluelight.com, Juno and NetZero limited what had been free Internet access for tiered pricing systems.

PCShowandTell.com: The Tampa site that features how-to tutorials for gadgets and software started charging a $30 annual fee.

TheStreet.com: The financial news site made two of its columnists, James Cramer and Herb Greenberg, available only to paid subscribers of its RealMoney site.

Variety.com: The online version of the entertainment industry newspaper is charging $59 for an annual subscription, which is free for print subscribers.

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