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New York Times – killing their eReader subscription base

April 3, 2010

Amazon has sent out a notice to current subscribers to the Kindle edition of the New York Times to $19.99 a month—matching the price of the iPad NY Times subscription.  The $6 rate increase goes in effect immediately for new subscribers, while current subscribers will see their rate increase in October.

I understand the want to try to find the optimal price along the supply/demand curve, but I would suggest that this is an insane strategy for a publication that gives away its content for free online.  Why?

IPad owners:  you can either pay $20 a month for the subscription or bookmark this link on your high-speed internet enabled browser and view the paper for free:

http://www.nytimes.com/pages/todayspaper/index.html

Kindle owners:

  1. Use the free open-source calibre software (upcoming post) to download automatically the New York Times (as well as many other available publications) and transfer (either via USB cable or wirelessly) to your Kindle.
  2. Use your Kindle browser (or desktop/laptop browser and then transfer) to download the free Feedbooks-generated NY Times each day.  Just add the following bookmark to your browser(s):
    http://www.feedbooks.com/newspaper/252.mobi
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