New York Times uses Canada as “giant guinea pig” to test-market its new pay wall
Lucky us. Canadians will be the first readers in the world to bemoan experience the New York Times’s new (and much discussed) on-line pay wall—if only for two weeks, before the program goes global on March 28. Why do Canadians have to pay before any one else? The Times Web site states, “We want to ensure as smooth a transition as possible for our millions of readers. We are launching in Canada first… in order to fine-tune the customer experience before the global launch.” Um, thanks?
New York magazine’s Daily Intel blog reports that customers can access 20 articles for free until hitting a pay wall. To gain access, subscriptions are available for a $15-per-month plan for smartphone access, or $20 to include iPad app access. A subscription with access through every device will cost $35. As Daily Intel succinctly puts it, the New York Times seems to be using “[Canada] as a giant guinea pig.”
• Times Reveals Details of Digital Subscriptions: Only Twenty Articles a Month Before You Hit Pay Wall [New York]
4 thoughts on “New York Times uses Canada as “giant guinea pig” to test-market its new pay wall”
Bye, bye New York Times…..We’ll miss you……..
Better yet, at least for the “test” period, Canadians are offered only a single subscription offer, and all prices are quoted in U.S. funds, paid across the border. Even with a dollar somewhere at par (from time to time), the cost will be higher simply because we’ll have to pay for funds conversion on top of it all.
As for the pay wall: What did anyone expect? The Internet is the world’s largest shopping mall. The free samples can only last so long. The advertising-supported model of the free web was a loss leader to bring us into the store–or was that to get us hooked? (Different products. Same customer-retention strategy.)
I’ll just read Margaret Wente in the Globe and Mail. Her opinion pieces typically cover whatever was published the previous week in the New York Times.
I found their choice to test it in Canada a tad insulting, frankly, and decided to respond:
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