Rabu, 30 Maret 2011

the New York Times is dead to me

Dan, Mike and I have frequently posted on content from the NY Times. As most of you have heard, on Monday the NY Times began charging for digital content.  This is the so called pay wall or pay fence or pay sponge. I have no problem paying for digital content as I subscribe to the Economist, National Geographic, etc on my iPad with specific apps or through Zinio, which is a great app if you haven't tried it. What troubles me with the Times current plan is that they are charging me based on what device I use to read their content.  I mainly read the NY Times (and everything else) on my iPad and phone.  With other digital subscriptions this doesn't matter since I pay a single amount and can access on any device. For example, the Economist charges $110 for a year subscription no matter how I read their content. The NY Times, however, has decided that they will charge $15/4 weeks ($195/year) to read on a phone and an additional $20/month ($260/year) to read the same content on an iPad, for a total of $455/year.  Crazy.

I know there are work arounds like linking off Facebook or through google searchs, but do I really want to do that?  I could also enter my username and password each time and just read on the iPad browser, but that is not the point.  I know I could subscribe to the Sunday Times for $8/week ($416/year) and save $39, but I don't really want to kill trees and waste fuel and this option isn't available in all places.  It is almost like they don't realize there is a digital age upon us.  Netflix doesn't care if I stream on a TV, laptop, or phone and why should they? Do they have extra reporters giving me inside information that only goes to my iPad? No!  There is almost no additional cost (marginal cost) for them to upload the same content to my iPad or phone, so it makes no sense for me to spend $260/year for something that costs them nothing.  They need to join the 21st century and not race back to the past. I thought the Times was called the Gray Lady since it had few pictures, but perhaps there is another reason. So, until they offer one price for digital access, the Times is dead to me.  I won't read (all bookmarks and apps removed) and I won't review, link or comment on NY Times generated content.


Economist online subscription page (so you can see what the world could look like)
WBUR's On Point has a great discussion on this subject that you can listen to.

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