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Pacific Northwest
I recently spent a couple weeks traveling around the Pacific Northwest. During this trip, I took some pictures. [view highlights album]

Sticker shock
Recently while reading my Twitter feed I realized that I click through to a fair number of articles from the New York Times. I also listen to On The Media a lot, which is constantly bemoaning the impending doom of proper journalism paragons like the NYT, and the consequential downfall of mankind.

So I decided, not because I was annoyed by a paywall, but just because I want to pay my share for a valuable service, to purchase a subscription to the New York Times. I clicked through to their site and JIMINY CHRISTMAS IT IS OUTRAGEOUSLY EXPENSIVE.

The least you can pay for the New York Times is $195 per year! Now I'm not hurting for cash, but I know the value of a dollar (sort of). That rate just does not fit with even my extravagant digital life, which means it's definitely too much for most people. That's:
  • Twice the cost of Netflix, which entertains me for several hours per week

  • Over 5 times the cost of Pandora One, which I use for many hours per day

  • 50% of the cost of my mobile data plan, which brings me Google Search, Google Maps, and email, to name only a few of the many things I value more than news articles

  • Over 25% of the cost of my home internet, without which I would be unemployable and probably also a suicide risk
I don't know how much it costs to run the New York Times, but I do know that more than twice as many people would subscribe if they halved their prices. There is just no way that hundreds of dollars per year is near the "sweet spot" of market demand for online news. This price point has nothing to do with cost and profit, it's just bad marketing.

(The best rationale I can think of is that they're still trying to cling to their print business, whose losses would be accelerated even further if digital access were priced to within spitting distance of the paper version, which is cheaper than web, ridiculously.)

This experience has reduced my sympathy to the plight of ad-supported media as it transitions to a modern payment model. If this is what news organizations are doing to try to save themselves, they need an even bigger kick in the pants than I thought.

(This is all to say nothing of the insulting price tiers. Really guys? More than a 2X increase in ongoing rate, forever, just to get your stupid app? Stab.)
The views expressed on this site are mine personally, and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.