Friday, March 18, 2011

NYT Pricing: I'd like to subscribe, just don't deliver the paper, please

The New York Times released its new pricing structure yesterday for the, with an interesting twist:

For the pricing, you can get: + Smartphone app:  $15/four weeks + iPad app: $20/four weeks
"All Digital Acesss" (web + smartphone + iPad): $35/four weeks

Free digital access on all platforms is available to all print subscribers, regardless of what plan they are on.  A print subscription with Monday-Friday delivery is $6.20 per week, or $24.80/four weeks.

I'm wondering who in the world would sign up for the $35 all digital version.  For $10.20 less, you can get the same all digital version PLUS the weekday paper delivered.  You are effectively paying $10 every four weeks NOT to deliver the paper.

I suspect that they don't expect to sell any subscriptions of the $35 option, and that this option is primarily intended as a marketing tool to make a print subscription or the $20 option seem like a good deal by comparison.

Assuming that some digital subscribers don't want a home delivery, there is an opportunity for a matchmaker here.  Anyone signing up for the $20 version could get the daily paper delivered for just $4.80 more.  Print subscribers out there are paying $24.80 for that.  Someone who only wants a print subscription could team up with someone who only wants a digital subscription to share the cost of the $24.80.  An online matchmaking service could pair people up and remove the transaction costs of finding someone.  I'm betting that soon you'll be able to go online and find such a service.

For that $24.80 you would get all digital access

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