Making sense of Kindle newspaper prices
- Posted on [May 9, 2009 ] @ 6:40 am
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This week Amazon released the new Kindle DX, with a large 9.7″ screen for reading books and news. The larger size screen size and revamped design actually make me want a Kindle now, but I’m not sure I’m ready to drop $500 on it.
One thing that caught my eye is the pricing of the newspaper content on the Kindle. The New York Times is charging $13.99/month and the WSJ is charging $9.99/month. This works out to $169/year for the Times and $119/year for the Journal.
The WSJ priced their Kindle subscription at the same price as their home delivery subscription ($119/year). WSJ.com is still their cheapest option at $104/year.
The NY Times on the other hand priced their Kindle subscription at $168/year, which is about 40% off of the 7-day home delivery price ($275/year) or 15% more than their 5-day home delivery price ($146/year). And you can of course read the NY Times for free online or on your iPhone.
I understand the WSJ pricing strategy (matching their home delivery price), but I’m really confused with the NY Times pricing. Why is it cheaper to get 5-day home delivery of the Times than to purchase their Kindle subscription? I’ve also read a lot of negative reviews of the NYTimes experience on the Kindle. The following review I found on Amazon sums up the major flaws:
On the minus side, comparing my print edition to the Kindle edition, I can see that the print edition includes stories that the Kindle edition does not. I’m really not sure quite what to make of this. A less ambiguous minus is the pictures, which (to use a technical term) really suck. They’re hard to make out, and there’s a max of one per story, no matter how many there are in the print version. Even worse, many of the pictures and – so far as I can see – ALL the charts and graphs are omitted. This hurts business coverage; I haven’t seen a Science Section yet, but I imagine this will be really painful.
It isn’t fair to charge such a high price for the NY Times if I can get it free online or get home delivery cheaper. And why in the world would they not include all the articles and all the charts/graphs? Are David Pogue’s articles excluded for a reason? This alone would discourage me from buying their Kindle subscription.