As if today’s pay wall announcement from the New York Times Company wasn’t enough, the news broke that an iPad-exclusive newspaper, The Daily, will begin charging for access next week. Unlike the Times’ entry-level $15 a month subscription for reading online articles on smartphones, the privilege of enjoying The Daily on your iPad costs just 99 cents per week, or forty bucks per year. Rupert Murdoch’s digital-only newspaper is slated to launch in Western Europe by summer, The Guardian reports. The exact release depends on when Apple’s new iOS subscription service becomes available in the country.
The Daily initially lured subscribers with a two-week trial period, but added another two weeks of free access after realizing Apple was late with iOS 4.3, which is needed to enable in-app subscriptions on iOS devices. They are now hoping people haven’t forgotten that The Daily is a paid-only affair. Speaking at the 2011 Abu Dhabi Media Summit, News Corp.’s chief digital officer Jonathan Miller said:
We will charge for it but we haven’t started yet. We have our beginning moment of truth next week when we start to ask people to get out their wallets.
I don’t know about you, but I doubt this being a watershed moment.
I’m not sold on neither publication. The asking price is above my comfort level.
After all those years of free news on the web, it’s going to take a little more than a couple of video clips and flashy image galleries to convince me to take the plunge.
And just for the record, I totally agree with our reader “saoir” who summed it up nicely in the comments of the New York Time post:
Subscription is not the solution to online news. Micro payments is the solution but no one is getting a grip on a global system. What is needed is a system similar to Skype, where people top up their account and then pay 2 – 10 cents to visit the paper.