The New York Times announced last Thursday their intention to begin charging for Internet access and mobile devices.Per Sjofors, founder and CEO of pricing authority Atenga, Inc., said the Times' decision and execution is a "catastrophic mess," adding that the decision to charge only after 20 page views is a "direct assault" to their most loyal readers. "They really are shooting themselves in the foot," said Sjofors. "Not only is this a slap to their most dedicated audience, it's outright confusing. In their letter to New York Times readers, the newspaper described a detailed and elaborate fee structure involving different pricing based on subscription packages, content and device. "Because it will cost subscribers more money to access the content they find via Google than via Facebook, and that there is a different rate if you are on your computer verses your iPad, readers will begin to feel nickel and dimed," Sjofors said. The New York Times tries to justify their reasons by comparing themselves to other fee-based outlets like the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal. Sjofors said these fee-based publications are not comparable to the New York Times. "The readers of outlets like these are individuals reading the newspapers trying to make informed investment decisions for themselves and strategic decisions for their companies, not find out more about the latest news in Libya, the latest blockbuster novel or NASA's latest space endeavor," he said. The bottom line: what will this change do to the New York Times, their brand and their business? Contributed by Atenga, Inc.
********** Published: March 24, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 49