The fine print in the NYT’s paywall: Have you been wondering to yourself, “Who the heck would pay $260 extra to subscribe to the iPad version of the New York Times?” So have a lot of people. From a distance, the price plan makes little sense and makes the paper nearly as expensive as the dead-tree version (which costs $770 a year for the seven-days-a-week edition outside of NYC). But Poynter’s Damon Kiesow has a really interesting take on the matter which a lot of people haven’t considered: What if the Times wants to discourage mobile app use by pricing them at a premium, specifically with the iPad version? (above pic taken by Robert Scoble — yes, that’s the man’s hand)
- $385 yearly cost of a weekday subscription to the Times
- $195 yearly cost of a Web-only Times subscription
- $260 yearly cost to add mobile to the Web
- $455 yearly cost to add tablet use to the bunch source
» What this all means to you: Now, if you’ve ever used an iPad, it’s pretty clear that the New York Times Web site is as good, if not better than, the NYT iPad app, at least for now. And if they want to further emphasize the tablet-y nature of the iPad, they already have that in the form of Times Skimmer. Furthermore, Apple doesn’t take a 30 percent cut out of Web-based subscriptions. Damon Kiesow’s perfectly apt reasoning, then, is that the NYT is trying to de-emphasize the App Store by pricing people out of that direction. And you know what? He’s right. The NYT Web site will work fine on the iPad. There is an advantage to using NYT’s app on your cell phone, so that’s kept at a more reasonable cost, but the NYT’s plan to focus on the Web over the app? Sneaky.