Sunday, July 6, 2008

Test Driving The New York Times

Wireless delivery of timely content like a newspaper is one of the Kindle's competitive advantages. Now that I've had mine for a bit I decided to try out The New York Times. I have to admit that the $13.99 monthly rate seems steep to me, and apparently I'm not alone. Here's an excerpt from an excellent review of the Times on the Kindle from Capt'n Bob:

But...I'm afraid it won't succeed at this price. And that concerns me because I really want these Kindle subscriptions to be wild successes and stoke the Kindle experience itself. (Which is why I'm taking the time and trouble to write this review.)

The price point needs to be $9.95, or even $5.95 to get significant traction. People who will subscribe are not choosing between print and electronic, they are choosing between Kindle and free (web or PDA) electronic alternatives.
I enjoyed the Sunday edition on a flight earlier today and it was a pleasure. There's nothing quite like reading a newspaper on a crowded plane without having to deal with all the awkward turning of pages and folding of paper. I'm only 2 days into the 14-day free trial and my inner tightwad is already dreading that first $13.99 charge. Capt'n Bob is right. Amazon got the book pricing model right (sub-$10) so I'm hoping they'll eventually work something out with the Times and offer a more attractive monthly rate.


Tomlin said...

Or just substitute instead
the newly available LA Times
and read the NYT through RSS
I hear that it is coming
through Feedbooks
directly to your Kindle

Joe Wikert said...

Interesting suggestion. I keep hearing about RSS solutions that push all the content like you describe (as opposed to the RSS reader I use on my laptop where a connection is required to read the full article) but I haven't found one yet for the Kindle. If Feedbooks brings one out I'll be first in line for it.

Anonymous said...

The WSJ and IBD seem like better values since they are not free online to begin with.

Unknown said...

I think the $0.75 for an issue is a steal. Especially for the sunday edition ($5 or more in print).

If you read it every day, I can see getting comfortable with the subscription, but for the two times a week I want to read a paper (if that), single issue is fine.

Danny Lesandrini said...

Joe, I got a theory about this: $12 is the threshold.

How much are you willing to pay, on a monthly basis, for anything? The answer is ... not more than $12 a month.

You want Audible books? $12 a month. Netflix movies? $12 a month. How much is XM Radio? $12 a month.

When the NYT subscription gets to $12 per month, it will go like hotcakes.

BTW, I want credit for this idea when it materializes.

Joe Wikert said...

Actually, I'm pretty sure my threshold is $9.99, not $12. Sure, I have an XM Radio subscription that's over $9.99, but I've been questioning that one lately too...

Anonymous said...

Yeah I agree with Kurt - I only buy the $0.75 Sunday edition.