Would You Pay Over $200 a Year for the New York Times on iPad?

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On one side, a Times source explains, you have print circulation, which thinks it should control the iPad since it’s just another way to distribute the paper. They’d like to charge $20 to $30 per month for the Times’ forthcoming iPad app, basically the product already demonstrated on stage with Steve Jobs, the source said. Why so much? Because they’re said to be afraid people will cancel the print paper if they can get the same thing on their iPad.

Yikes.  So apparently there’s a heated debate going on amongst the management of The New York Times, about the pricing level for their iPad app / subscriptions to this digital version.  According to the reports, the folks in charge of NYT’s digital efforts would like to charge around $10 per month for the new iPad app.  And those in charge of print operations are pressing for more like $20-30 per month.

At $30 a month / $360 a year, I can’t imagine very many folks are going to be on board, even diehard NYT fans – especially when the NYT online is available for free and easily viewable through the iPad’s browser (with some holes where Flash elements would be probably).

Even at $10 per month I don’t imagine too many ‘casual’ readers of the NYT are going to jump in.  Then again, I’ve not been a big NYT reader in years, so I may not have a good perspective on this at all.

What do you all think?  Those of you who are regular NYT readers, what would you would be willing to pay for its iPad app?

Source: Valleywag via Daring Fireball

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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5 thoughts on “Would You Pay Over $200 a Year for the New York Times on iPad?”

  1. I have the Kindle and subscribe to the Times for $13.99/month. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to get the Ipad, however, obviously $10-15 would be reasonable, $20 starts to unsettle me

  2. Not sure they really understand the subscriber potential. At amounts less than $1 per week, circulation for most fair-and-balanced newspapers would explode 50 fold and advertisers would be onboard. If they depend on subscribers to carry the expense burden, they will continue to fail. Short-sighted decisions will miss great opportunities.

    1. I definitely think they seem to be spending too much time making comparisons to print and print economics – which really seem no longer relevant.

  3. I don't agree that subscriptions would go up 50x at a $1 a week – I think many people see the online version as free and would be unwilling to even pay $1 a week for the iPad version. I do think the cannibalization factor is real – I would consider shuttering my print subscription for a version I could read on my couch without a 500 degree macbook pro on my lap.

    $30 seems high – I feel like $4 a week would be priced nicely, or $15-20 per month.

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