I’m happy to hear that starting March 28th, the New York Times will begin charging users via a metered/stepped usage system. If you’re a casual user, you probably won’t be affected, but Times junkies like me, we’re looking at another monthly bill.
Personally, I was a TimesSelect subscriber back in the day and think the Times deserves some of my money. But I’m confused by the pricing structure of their new subscriber program.
- Unlimited website access comes with all pricing tiers.
- If I want to read NYT on my iPhone, it’ll cost me $15 a month.
- If I want to read it on a bigger screen (iPad), but *not* my iPhone, it’ll cost me $20 a month.
- But if I want to see it on both my iPad and iPhone, I’ve got to shell out a whopping $35 a month.
I don’t have any problem with the amounts in the sense of affordability; I’d happily pay $30+ dollars a month to help ensure that the Times can keep bureaus and reporters on the ground in places other outlets can’t.
But I do have a problem with the marginal cost structure they’ve established. The floor is $15 per month for access to the website and smartphone, and by pricing iPad access at $20 per month, they are basically saying that there is a $5 price premium per device/type of access.
And then suddenly it jumps to $35. This is the part that makes no sense, because the amount of extra value I’m receiving is only $5, not $15. Especially because I can read the Times website pretty easily on my iPad.
Pricing problem? You betcha.