Monday, August 10, 2009

Slowly Losing Interest in Subscriptions

I've been a Kindle NY Times subscriber for more than a year now. Because the issues show up automatically and wirelessly wherever I go it's one of the reasons I tell people I enjoy owning a Kindle and taking it on the road.

I discovered the NY Times iPhone app when I got my first iPhone. As is the case with most apps, they keep updating and improving it. The latest version has me wondering why I bother paying Amazon $13.99/month for the Kindle version. I hear there are elements in the Kindle version that don't appear in the (free) iPhone version but I'm hard-pressed to tell you what they are. All the articles I read in yesterday's Kindle edition are right there in the iPhone version.

The iPhone version has ads and the Kindle version doesn't. So what? If that's one of the key differences and it saves me $14/month, bring on the ads!

The Kindle version comes automatically and can be read without a live web connection (once the issue is downloaded, of course). The iPhone version let's me save individual articles for later offline reading. Close, but not quite the same. Of course, if the iPhone app ever comes with a setting that lets me save the whole edition automatically, well, I'd pay at least $5/month for that, maybe even $10.

Amazon hasn't exactly set the world on fire with new and exciting Kindle features. The ones that exist on the K2 and DX are pretty much the same that debuted with K1 almost 2 years ago. Meanwhile, Apple is rumored to have a sexy netbook/tablet coming next month. It will undoubtedly build on the success of the iPhone and unless Apple lays an egg it's likely to be the product I upgrade to from my Kindle 1.0.


Anonymous said...

Another factor for me has been I can pretty much get as much content as I wish through Google Reader, I read the NY Times, the Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, and a number of blogs I follow. They are all in one place on Google Reader and they are free.

Certainly, one does not get the "feel" of a newspaper, but the sheer convenience of all my daily reads in my hand, on the go, and cost-free make it the best option.

Mike Donovan said...

Joe, I stopped my NY Times subscription after trialing the "NY Times - Latest News" "blog". It includes most all of the national NYT content, is updated throughout the day and has become my #1 news source. Oh, and there's a huge difference in price: $13.99 a month for the NYT subscription and $1.99 a month for NYT - Latest News. If you haven't tried it, I would encourage a trial.

Joe Wikert said...

Hi Mike. I get both the NY Times and the Latest News feed and agree that there's plenty of overlap. There are a lot of articles missing from the Latest News though but I ought to be able to grab those thru the iPhone app. I'm going to shut down the NYT Kindle subscription right now and see if I notice a difference.

Tom S said...

I have tried several subscriptions for Kindle and they are not something I would pay for. Just seems too much lost in the translation to a purely linear text flow. I agree that a tablet device will be much better at replicating a newspaper or magazine experience.

On a desktop/laptop, the Times Reader app ( sets the standard for how to reflow newspapers for different screen or app window sizes. Much better than a web browser, better navigation, typography, and pleasing page animation gives a nice continuity to the reading experience. I'm not enough of a newspaper addict to subscribe, but you get the front page stories and weekly crossword puzzle for free.