WSJ iPad Pricing Model Is Bad News
AFP reports that the Wall Street Journal plans to charge $17.99 a month ($216/year) for an iPad subscription. This pricing model is hard to explain, given other WSJ subscription plans. And I worry that such extreme subscription plans could cloud the iPad debut and doom product adoption.
What are the various pricing schemes for the Wall Street Journal?
- ~$20 a month for WSJ newspaper ($249/12 months via Amazon)
- ~$18 a month for WSJ newspaper + online ($2.99/week, annual subscription)
- $17.99 a month for the iPad (per the AFP article)
- $14.99 a month for Kindle (per the AFP article)
- ~$11 a month for WSJ newspaper + online ($2.69/week, introductory pricing, annual subscription)
- ~$10 a month for WSJ newspaper (print, $2.29/week, introductory pricing, annual subscription)
- ~$10 a month for WSJ newspaper (print, $2.29/week, annual subscription)
- ~$8 a month on the iPhone, iPodTouch and BlackBerry ($2/week)
- ~$8 a month for online-only ($1.99/week, introductory pricing, annual subscription)
- ~$8 a month for online-only ($1.99/week, annual subscription)
An electronic version of any publication should not cost more than its printed version due to the almost-zero per unit distribution cost associated with the electronic version. Period.
The iPad is more like a small computer than a phone in its reading area. As such, it should not require device-dependent applications to access Internet content: this balkanization of the Internet is not a GoodThing. Computer software/hardware balkanization was the impetus for Sir Tim Berners-Lee to develop hypertext protocol and the web in the first place!
News isn’t like a song: we don’t read a story over and over again. The iTunes model isn’t going to salvage the news media’s business model, the one where they’ve reaped monopoly rents for decades.