Ink Strained Wretch

Hello, my name is Rob and I pay for news content.

It’s true, for a long time I’ve been a New York Times digital subscriber — and it’s worth every penny. But that’s where I draw the line, because so far I haven’t found anything else I’m willing to pay for online.

A while back I suggested that I’d sign up for a Times Union digital subscription if it were $.25 per week. Without receiving a tangible product manufactured on the paper’s ultra-modern press, should it really cost any more? If you’ve ever tried doing the crossword on your computer, you know that pencils make a hell of a mess of your screen.

They are getting closer. Look here, they’ve dropped their pants price to $1 per week:

what's trending in your life and in mine

Alas, the deal is only good for 13 weeks; after that, you’ll pay $4.

Here’s the thing, I subscribe (no pun intended) to the broadcast radio and TV model in which I’m paying for your content by way of all the advertising. If anything, the price of your news without a printed product should be dirt cheap.

But Rob, you ask, what about the Times? Good point — but you’re not seriously comparing the two, I hope.

Because I always try to be helpful, here’s a modest proposal: lower your online price to $.25 per week and severely restrict access to your content. If the majority of those who use the product pay at that price, you’ll be rolling in dough. Hell, you might even have enough cash to hand out some raises.

5 responses to “Ink Strained Wretch

  1. It’s also one of the worst newspaper sites I’ve ever seen.

    If you go to the TU website, good luck in figuring out what the most important stories are. It seems like all the content self-populates without the intervention of an editor. It’ just fucking terrible. I would never pay for garbage like that. Not even $.25.

    • It’s a little better than it used to be.

      Personally, I think if you go to a news site, the most important stories should be immediately visible above the fold. Not the most recent stories, nor the click bait, but the most important stories. You absolutely don’t get that with the TU. Why? I’m no expert, but there are a couple of obvious reasons:

    • Making people hunt for the news content they want means more time on the page
    • Mindless click bait increases overall traffic
    • The page has no actual editor