The New York Times plans to charge for its recipe database


In a bold move, The New York Times announced that it plans to turn its cooking website and app into a subscription service. Beginning next week, NYT Cooking will charge $65 USD per year for access to the 18,000+ recipes from staff writers like Melissa Clark and Sam Sifton. There will be an option to pay $5 for four weeks if you don't want to commit to a full year's subscription, and NYT Cooking has indicated it plans to offer discount subscriptions in the future. 

Currently, to access a recipe on NYT Cooking, you must create a free account. The site plans to offer a metered approach, similar to other parts of the Times, so you will be able to access to a certain number of recipes each month without paying. The iPhone app, however, will only be available to paid members. If you are a subscriber to the main NYT site, you will receive access to the site for a "limited time," after which you will have to pay as well. 

NYT Cooking is betting that people will feel the recipes are superior to those freely available elsewhere on the web. A spokesperson downplayed the cost, saying "For less than the cost of two avocados at Whole Foods you can get access to the best recipes in the world." What do you think of the change?

There are approximately 4,200 recipes in the EYB Library from The New York Times, but not all of those are from the NYT Cooking site. Many recipes have been published in blogs and by food writers outside of the organization and in the Times main site; access to those recipes should remain the same. 


  • TrishaCP  on  6/28/2017 at 8:40 PM

    I have a subscription for main access to the NYT online. I would not be willing to pay for the recipe database. For that price, I would rather buy more cookbooks!

  • sir_ken_g  on  6/28/2017 at 8:51 PM

    I also subscribe to the NY Times. But I have found the current articles to be quite inferior to what Bitman used to write. He sometimes inspired me to do a recipe that he had published that morning.

  • annmartina  on  6/29/2017 at 10:06 AM

    I think that's a pretty steep subscription fee. And I thought Cook's Illustrated feel model was high. If I were a subscriber to the NYT I would be pretty miffed to have to pay more for the recipes.

  • Rradishes  on  6/29/2017 at 5:52 PM

    I think NYT recipes can be hit or miss, and I would not be willing to pay the price. Especially since so many of them end up online for free through word of mouth!

  • Larkspur  on  6/29/2017 at 8:14 PM

    The email I received from NYT cooking said NYT subscribers would have access to the the recipes and did not stipulate that it was for a limited time. There is a 28 day trial membership.

  • Rinshin  on  6/30/2017 at 11:25 AM

    Very high. I belong to Japanese language cookpad that includes regular contributors, chefs, cookbook authors, magazines recipes for only around $3.50 per month. With just the contributor recipes, they have a database of 2,700,000 recipes.

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