(Not) Possible pricing for the Enquirer’s paywall?
CORRECTION/UPDATE: This will teach me about speculating. I received an email from Brain Butts, Director of Digtal Strategy and Development at Enquirer, who informed me that the price in question is actually the price for a package that reproduces the printed paper in electronic form here. I had no idea that such a product existed, but it has apparently been around for years. According to Mr. Butts, “(they) have yet to consider and set our full-access digital only subscription pricing and likely won’t announce specific details until late summer.” So, essentially, we still know nothing about the price. Sorry for the mix up, everyone!
This is by no means official, and I can’t find an official statement on price anywhere, but if you take a gander here, you will see that it appears that the price is currently set to $14.13… a month. I’ll be honest; my first reaction was to swear that there was absolutely no chance that I would ever pay that much to read the Enquirer, and then to proceed to preach on Facebook about how “out of touch” the Enquirer and her parent company, Gannett, are. Now that I’ve had a day or two to ponder it, I still think that it’s extremely steep, and I’m not thrilled about it, but I can’t promise you that I won’t pay it. I’m a news junkie, and while the four TV station websites and WVXU do an OK job of keeping up on the news for free, the Enquirer still blows them away on most topics, which is something I didn’t really realize until I pulled all the RSS feeds side-by-side and compared. The Enquirer hits a fair number of things that the others don’t get to until upwards of a day later, and many things don’t make the TV news sites at all. Griff covered this pretty well on Cincinnati Blog a few months ago when the announcement of a paywall first came down the pipe, and he made some pretty good points. I don’t want to swipe his post (you should go read it), but the statement he made that’s most relevant to this is that
We as a public have long been coddled by having free news websites. It costs money to gather and write news articles. Sure, I wish the Enquirer did a better job of doing that, but that does not make the economics of reality go away.
That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. I will be very interested to see how well the model fares if they stick with this price point, though. People will pay for news to a point, but they’re 87 cents away from what the New York Times charges, and I don’t believe that anyone will be confusing those two papers anytime soon.
I’d like give a big hat-tip to whomever runs the Covington Kentucky Facebook page for pointing this out originally.