New York Times Kindle and E-Edition subscribers have been notified that their monthly subscription prices will jump from $14.99 to $19.99 a month ($240/year) for new subs, PaidContent’s Staci Kramer reports. Existing subs stay at current rates until October 2nd, then they’ll be paying through the nose, too.Presumably, the iPad edition will cost the same $19.99.
Will people pay these prices?
Some will, but probably not many. A lot fewer will if the regular online version stays free or is significantly less expensive than the apps. In our opinion, newspapers and magazines are drastically over-estimating consumer interest in expensive, richly produced versions of text and photos they can get online for free.
One good reason for the New York Times to charge these prices is to give print subscribers less of an incentive to ditch their print subscriptions. Right now, the tradeoff between $300+ a year for print and free for online is probably driving a significant number of subscribers to quit. And the company can’t afford that.
Eventually, if the paper is to maintain its current subscriber base, we think the online prices will have to drop considerably. Consumers know the difference between the costs of delivering paper and the costs of delivering bits, and even if the NYT successfully erects a paywall, we just don’t see a lot of folks paying $240 a year for an app.
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