In the first three months of 2-14, they had $290 million in revenue. Digital subscription revenue was $40 million.
So this isn't accurate for the NYT specifically, but if we suppose an NYT-type operation serving up 106.5 million page views every three months, they'd need to collect micropayments of $0.37 USD per page view just to make up for the digital subscription piece (they'd still be running ads).
Is that too high? I think I'd be much less inclined to click on NYT stories if I knew they were asking $0.37 per page view. That would be somewhat irrational of me because I can totally afford it, but that would be my cheapskate instinct.
Suppose the NYT removed their paywall and requested only $0.15 per pageview -- would they have more pageviews because more people could access them? Or would traffic remain constant?
It's likely that high-value web properties like the NYT would probably not see a benefit towards moving to micropayments, or perhaps they would at least keep the subscription model and experiment with a micropayment/paywall hybrid aproach.