NYT execs struggle over iPad edition subscription pricing - rumor

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
A new report citing an anonymous source suggests officials within The New York Times cannot agree whether to charge $10 per month or closer to $30 per month for a subscription to one of the world's most prominent newspapers.



The dispute, according to Gawker's unnamed source, lies between those with the company's print division, who view the iPad as "just another way to distribute the paper," and its digital operation, which would prefer to take a different, less expensive approach.



The source claims that those on the print side would like to see users charged between $20 and $30 per month to have the daily edition of the Times delivered to their iPad. Those with the company are allegedly "afraid people will cancel the print paper if they can get the same thing on their iPad," the report said.



On the other hand, those with the digital side of the Times would rather see users be charged about $10 per month for the iPad edition. The report alleged that those in the electronic business are "up in arms over print circulation's pricing."



The report also claims that New York Times Media Group president Scott Heekin-Canedy falls on the side of the print division, favoring pricing between $20 and $30.



"The internal fight might also determine how relevant -- and profitable -- the nation's most prominent newspaper can remain in the digital future," Gawker's Ryan Tate wrote. "Which is probably why there's reportedly so much sniping over who gets to control the iPad edition internally."



The news follows another recent report that some publishers are skeptical of Apple's iPad business model, which sees the company giving 70 percent of revenue to content providers, but not sharing any personal information about subscribers. Those in the publishing world, particularly in newspapers, view that information -- called "their most valuable asset" -- as crucial for selling advertising.







The Times played a significant role in Apple's introduction of its iPad, with company co-founder Steve Jobs browsing the official Web site when the hardware was unveiled. Later in the keynote, officials from the newspaper also demonstrated a daily iPad edition of the Times that will be available for download on the forthcoming device. No price for the subscription was given.



The Times Web site is also prominently featured in promotional videos demonstrating the iPad on Apple's Web site.



Days after it was unveiled, Jobs reportedly made a trip to New York City to meet with Times executives and pitch Apple's new hardware. It was said that Jobs demonstrated the iPad's functionality at the head of a restaurant table in what was said to be an "intimate, family-style gathering."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 106
    Inconceivable!
  • Reply 2 of 106
    Well charge $10, then put the price up over time once people are hooked and you can judge the impact better.



    You wont catch me paying $30 a month for a rag though, nor $10 for that matter... but I'm sure there are those that would.
  • Reply 3 of 106
    I pay about $40 a month for a delivered newspaper. I'd happily pay half that much for an e-version, provided it was complete and well done. It's a little bit humorous to hear the Times people worrying about losing print edition subscribers to the e-edition. Well, duh. What's the point otherwise? You expect us to pay for both? Sure, right.



    Since nobody really knows what this product looks like or how it works, probably they should offer free trials, at least to existing subscribers. One of the big newspapers is going to have to dive in with both feet and find out what works. I hope they're not planning on being completely clueless, like the music industry.
  • Reply 4 of 106
    Newspapers just don't get it... there is no value in news any more, it's too accessible to all for free. It's not as if they can offer anything unique that we can't find for free elsewhere.



    Now, if they were to pay me to read it and be exposed to ads which they could sell based on subscriber base, that might be a good business model.
  • Reply 5 of 106
    I'd pay $30 a month for a digital newspaper, as long as the experience is as good as/better than a print newspaper.



    Having moved to the US from England, I really missed being able to read the UK newspapers, and regarded the ability to get The Times on the Kindle as a major plus, but the experience on there is naff. If they give me the sort of thing the New York Times demo'd, I'd gladly pay.
  • Reply 6 of 106
    The economy has changed and they do not understand that FEW will buy-in to the $30 plan, but MILLIONS will for $10. They remind m of the record industry with regard to tracks for $.99.
  • Reply 7 of 106
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Outlandish you say. Not at all, especially for an electronic edition. The average news paper is hardly worth more than a dime a day, the NYT might be worth a bit more but hardly more than a quarter.



    This isn't really about editorial content but rather the reality that news is a 24 hour a day business, since the advent of cable TV and then the web. So one element here is that the NEWS in Newspaper is no longer important as by definition it is always old news. So if the papers of tomorrow seriously want to be in the news business they need to deliver the news 24 hours a day. That is not impossible but takes a total change in the mind set of a paper.



    In many ways the news is not journalism. That may shock many but think about it, the news is about the events and activities that make up our days. Journalism, especially investigative journalism is another beast altogether. It is the search for truths, opinions and other elements of a story to inform the community in general. In other words news is really a passive thing where as journalism is a more engaging activity. In order to compete a "newspaper" needs to compete on both fronts to give people a reason to spend their time with the distribution.



    Sadly I don't really think that newspapers in general get it yet. One of the primary reasons for their existence has vanished to more timely and diverse mediums. As the electronic forms gather an ability to cover local scenes and actually employ reporters the dead tree based businesses will slowly wither away. Think about a world where Google, Yahoo or Bing employed reporters to compete directly with the likes of the NYT. Or for that matter Apple starting up a news bureau to work in conjunction with that massive data center they are building. Mind you these organizations would not be hiring people to report the news (which they already to effectively baring Apple) but rather to engage in true journalism. I don't know about you guys but the papers just don't get it.



    Dave
  • Reply 8 of 106
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post


    I'd pay $30 a month for a digital newspaper, as long as the experience is as good as/better than a print newspaper.



    Having moved to the US from England, I really missed being able to read the UK newspapers, and regarded the ability to get The Times on the Kindle as a major plus, but the experience on there is naff. If they give me the sort of thing the New York Times demo'd, I'd gladly pay.



    I would pay for a digital edition, but not $30 a month, maybe $10. They could include all the ads that are in the print edition, that would be fine by me. I would like the real print experience, without the ink stains.
  • Reply 9 of 106
    Wow. They're deluding themselves if they honestly expect many people to pay $10/month for something we can already get for free. This is just pathetic and sad. Their stubborn refusal to adapt will be their end (and they've already got one foot in the grave, so it's just a matter of time).
  • Reply 10 of 106
    Charge $30/month and give yourself time to watch paint dry.



    WTF are they crazy??? My freaking internet service is only $30/month. Why on this earth would I pay that kind of money for a news paper where approximately 50% of the content is available for free?

    Yes the NYT editorials and investigative journalism is top notch but $360/year??? You're out of your mind crazy.



    That's 180 itunes tv shows or 363 songs.

    Thats almost the cost of an ipad.

    That's 6 ipod shuffles

    That's 2 ipod nanos

    That's 1731 12 oz cans of Mountain Dew.



    If this is the revenue plan, they are going to be sorely disappointed.



    Newspaper and magazine people need to wake up. You are taking your production and distribution costs down to ZERO in this medium. You can cut prices like crazy and you *should*.

    $10/month is the *highest* you should be thinking.

    I'd put it closer to $5/month. That's a price that would make people subscribe in droves. Remember you've got to understand that people will only buy so many subscriptions.

    So if your average customer buys the WSJ, sports Illustrated or Wired, plus NYT and lets say .. Scientific American, do you seriously think he will be dropping $40/month on this? Ar eyou so high in your ivory tower that you might actually believe that he might drop $120/month for his four magazines?? ridiculous!
  • Reply 11 of 106
    Apparently some people actually enjoy ignorance. They say newspapers are obsolete, but then most of the news they read online "for free," assuming they even bother, comes from that very source. And please, don't try to tell me that cable news is a substitute for written journalism, because then I will know beyond a doubt that you enjoy ignorance. Cable news cultivates ignorance.



    What is obsolete is the method of delivery of newspapers. Newsprint on the driveway is nearly over. I hope the newspapers find a formula that works for the 21st century, so at least those of us who'd prefer not to wallow in ignorance will have something better than the shouted headlines of cable news. If it's done right, I will gladly pay. Ignorance is just too expensive.
  • Reply 12 of 106
    Hahahaha!!!



    Yeah, charge $30/mo. See how well THAT goes!
  • Reply 13 of 106
    igeniusigenius Posts: 1,240member
    I don't get it. I read news on the 'web, starting at Google News. I read NYT articles every day, along with lots of other papers.



    Why would I pay for a digital subscription when it is all availabloe on the 'web for free?
  • Reply 14 of 106
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,340member
    I might pay for news on the iPad if all news on the internet that was free went away.



    If all free online news did go away, I'd just go back to watching the 6 o'clock news. Eff 'em. They're not getting any of my money.
  • Reply 15 of 106
    foo2foo2 Posts: 1,077member
    FWIW: With about twice the circulation as the NYT, the Wall Street Journal charges less than $9/month for the on-line only version and about $11.50/month for the print and online versions together.
  • Reply 16 of 106
    igeniusigenius Posts: 1,240member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    those of us who'd prefer not to wallow in ignorance



    Wow. You're so much better than the average person.
  • Reply 17 of 106
    The last time I read paper newspapers, which would be about 15 years ago, I read mostly NYT. Each daily edition was less than 50 cents (I can't remember the exact price though). Anyway, I read perhaps 2-3 daily editions per week (rarely the overpriced Sunday edition), which works out to about $4/month.



    I still read NYT, courtesy of RSS feed (forget the bloated iPhone app), but just few articles per day. I am sure some will pay $10/month, perhaps even $30/month for the iPad version. But there's no way I would pay anywhere close to that. Perhaps NYT should considered tiered-pricing:
    • $30/month: unlimited full contents (including puzzles) with access to every single articles from its archive

    • $10/month: unlimited article read, cannot access articles older than 1 month

    • $10/year: 5-10 articles per day, cannot access articles older than 1 month

    • Free: Just the top articles

  • Reply 18 of 106
    The NYT people are as deluded as record companies.



    Raise prices to a ridiculous amount and people won't buy.



    $5/mo, I will subscribe today. $10/mo for the NYT, no. I'll pay for the WSJ instead. $30/mo. I would not even consider it.



    How could they justify $30/mo? Apple is taking care of the distribution. There is nothing physical to print, bundle, truck and then deliver.
  • Reply 19 of 106
    One point to consider in their revenue models, is that many people may subscribe from outside their traditional newsprint delivery footprint. I live in Australia, and I might subscribe to such a daily as the NYT e print edition. That would be $10 / month they'd be getting from little old me in Australia, that they don't have a snow flakes in hell chance of getting right now.



    The e print product should be considerably less due to its cheap distribution model etc. $10 would be top shelf pricing to me.



    Now, how are they going to charge me, by the day, month or year, that would also change how much I would consider paying
  • Reply 20 of 106
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by filburt View Post


    The last time I read paper newspapers, which would be about 15 years ago, I read mostly NYT. Each daily edition was less than 50 cents (I can't remember the exact price though). Anyway, I read perhaps 2-3 daily editions per week (rarely the overpriced Sunday edition), which works out to about $4/month.



    I still read NYT, courtesy of RSS feed (forget the bloated iPhone app), but just few articles per day. I am sure some will pay $10/month, perhaps even $30/month for the iPad version. But there's no way I would pay anywhere close to that. Perhaps NYT should considered tiered-pricing:
    • $30/month: unlimited full contents (including puzzles) with access to every single articles from its archive

    • $10/month: unlimited article read, cannot access articles older than 1 month

    • $10/year: 5-10 articles per day, cannot access articles older than 1 month

    • Free: Just the top articles




    You should email this to NYT. Looks pretty good to me. I am willing to pay $10/month easily. But, $30/month! NYT can kiss my a** then.
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