December 22, 2011

The NYT hopes against hope to get subscription money from students and faculty.

Email received this morning:
Dear NYTimes.com Reader,

Your complimentary digital subscription, which you were specially chosen to receive earlier this year, will expire at the end of the year.

But because you qualify for our education rate, you can extend your subscription, and continue to enjoy unlimited access to NYTimes.com and all our apps, at 50% off the regular rate. These savings are yours for as long as you continue to have a college or university affiliation as a student, faculty or staff member with a valid school e-mail address, which usually ends in .edu.

To lock in your education rate before January 3, 2012, please call Customer Care at 1-800-591-9233 and we’ll expedite your extended subscription. You’ll also be able to extend your subscription at the education rate online after January 3.

So stay connected to the world’s finest journalism as a Times Digital Subscriber. And act now to save with our education rate.

Just call 1-800-591-9233 and mention code EDU-DG.

Sincerely,
Customer Care
Hurry, hurry, hurry. Hurry up and pay now, at this new low rate... which is nevertheless infinitely more than you've been paying.

50 comments:

Scott M said...

Just call 1-800-DES-PRAT, or, if that line is busy (it won't be), try 1-800-WER-BROK.

John Burgess said...

Hope springs eternal, even for the Grey Lady.

MadisonMan said...

Why buy the cow when you can get the sour, curdled milk for free.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"...world’s finest journalism..."

I wonder how many will pony up.

Pogo said...

How does one sell buggy whips, pet rocks, and outdated milk?

Scott M said...

Why buy the cow when you can get the sour, curdled milk for free.

That was much better than mine.

cassandra lite said...

Please help. We have a huge golden parachute to pay out.

Peter said...

Newspapers created a huge problem for themselves when they started giving away their content for free. Lotsa luck trying to put that cat back in the bag.

"What if I don't want to subscribe — can I still read NYTimes.com for free?"

"Visitors can enjoy 20 free articles (including blog posts, slide shows, video and other multimedia features) each calendar month on NYTimes.com, as well as unrestricted access to browse the home page, section fronts, blog fronts and classifieds."

rhhardin said...

Their appeal is getting more specialized.

MadisonMan said...

Visitors can enjoy 20 free articles (including blog posts, slide shows, video and other multimedia features) each calendar month on NYTimes.com, as well as unrestricted access to browse the home page, section fronts, blog fronts and classifieds.

Or even more if they clear their cache!

rhhardin said...

Even the WSJ doesn't get my clicks since they chickified it.

Also the site is a cpu burner.

rcommal said...

I can't STAND the term "Customer Care." So far as I can tell, "customer service" as a general rule took a deep slide downward at about the same time as the terminology "Customer Care" came into vogue. I realize that correlation is not equal to causation, but I don't care in this case. I experience what I experience, and that, as they say, is that.

rcommal said...

Shorter: I don't want you to CARE for me, business X, I want you to provide excellent SERVICE to me.

/OT rant

Levi Starks said...

I wonder if that included the University chancellors who according CNNmoney are making over a million a year in salary?
You'd think the Times would want them to pay full price, instead of having the non-college affiliated subscribers subsidize them.

Skookum John said...

I just love to watch these bastards flounder. I hate their guts. The day they go under, in 2013 or so, I'll open a bottle of champagne.

Pogo said...

NYT

There's a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Gray Lady, you bastard, we're through.

technologist said...

"So stay connected to the world’s finest journalism…"

Dubious. Rather than pontificate about their purported superiority, it's best to let others recognize it as warranted. The declining paid print/electronic subscriber base is no doubt why they're raising fees via any means.

Let the market for their product decide. Carlos Slim may not be so eager to provide another round of rescue funding.

がんこもん said...

This is unsurprising. It appears to be not an unusual policy among the dinosaur media. Case in point: Though I never subscribed, I've been receiving unwanted copies of Newsweek magazine for the past few months. Copies I promptly deposit in the recycle bin. Unread.

However, I am now receiving pleas to 'renew' a subscription I never asked for in the first place. I cynically suspect that (like Newsweek) this is the New York Times' way to similarly (and falsely) pump up their circulation numbers.

jacksonjay said...

Shows how delusional they have become!

Dose of Sanity said...

Visitors can enjoy 20 free articles (including blog posts, slide shows, video and other multimedia features) each calendar month on NYTimes.com, as well as unrestricted access to browse the home page, section fronts, blog fronts and classifieds.

Or even more if they clear their cache!


The Times literally does not understand the internets.

Pogo said...

The NYTimes may soon be just another free weekly, like the Onion.

Winston Smith Rides Again said...

Google disabled my account.

Probably for this

Apparently, Blogger doesn't do satire.

Winston Smith Rides Again said...

My comments here keep getting deleted.

Why?

LordSomber said...

On the campus in my town anyone can get a cheap (60¢ I think) "Visitor Card for Printing & Copying" to swipe on newspaper boxes.
For free I can get the NYT, USA Today and the local daily, all five days a week.

Haven't paid for a paper in years and nor would I.

knox said...

Coming soon: Time magazine takes bids, winner gets to be Person of the Year for 2012.

Be said...

Membership Still Has Its Rewards, diminishing though they may be.

I've convinced the partner to cancel the subscription to the paper Formerly Known as IHT. (NYT - Innernational Edition nowadays). Haven't quite gotten him to let go of the FT one. Maybe Market Forces (IE - his pension reverts to Francs from Euro with a 1:1 rate of exchange) will help with that; dunno.

Henry said...

By all accounts, the "leaky" paywall is a success.

In which case, the question is why should the Times bother to continue to give away their product for free? (I'm one of those people who piggy-backed on the Ford Motors promotion.)

In fact, academics are a perfect demographic of people who are likely to pony up the dough -- or have their college do so for them.

Poor students? Give me a break. Every student with a smartphone is spending $100 month. They can cover a $100 or so a year for the Times.

And if they don't why should the Times care?

Here's a key gloss on what the Times is doing right:

Total visitors to nytimes.com are actually up 2 percent from a year ago when there was no paywall.

Better yet, digital advertising is up too. In the third quarter, despite a slowing economy, they were up 6 percent in the News Media Group (which includes other papers like The Boston Globe. The NYT takes in more than two-thirds of the group’s total revenue). For the year, digital ads are up 12 percent so far to $162 million.

In other words, the Times has created the perfect paywall: It’s getting tens of millions of dollars from hardcore readers while letting in enough Google traffic and casual readers to continue boosting its online readership and collecting ad revenue off of those eyeballs.

So how much revenue are we talking about?

The fourth quarter is seasonally the highest for ad revenue, and that puts the News Media Group is on pace for roughly $235 million in digital advertising for 2011. Estimating that the NYT is responsible for about two-thirds of that, that would give the paper a digital-ad haul of roughly $155 million for the year.

Each of these subscriptions cost at least $195 a year, giving the Times at least $63.2 million in digital subscription revenue (a few million of this presumably goes to Apple and Amazon, which typically get a third of the revenue from subscriptions on their devices)

Add it up and it’s safe to say that The New York Times alone will take in more than $210 million in digital revenue this year...

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Ka Takomoto?

kinbote said...

I guess it's not illegal to charge lower prices to wealthier, more powerful people, to gain their patronage, but it's certainly very regressive.

tom faranda said...

You are getting hosed. They offered to continue my comp for the first 8 weeks of 2012 for a total of 99 cents.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I never even registered for free content. I always pictured Sulzberger crowing "Hah, we got Slothrop! They are putty in my hands!"

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I mean, Kankomon?

Max said...

Thanks.NO THANKS!

Max said...

I think the London Metro (free for all rail riders) is closer to the truth in 'news' than the NYT. And, I only pick it up to see if Jennifer Anniston is featured.

Curious George said...

"Pogo said...
The NYTimes may soon be just another free weekly, like the Onion."

Same level of truth, just not funny.

Jay said...

Speaking of the NYT:

New York Times Co. said it is in advanced discussions to sell the 16 local newspapers that make up its regional media group to Halifax Media Holdings LLC, the latest step by Times Co. to pare its media interests.
...
“News of the sale follows Thursday’s announcement that Times Co. chief executive Janet Robinson will resign her post at the end of the year. It also continues a longer-term trend in which Times Co., facing revenue declines and debt pressures, has shrunk its media portfolio. Since 2006, the company has sold interests in television, radio and sports.”


But don't worry Ms Robinson got a golden parachute!

The New York Times Company today abruptly announced that its 61-year-old chief executive officer, Janet Robinson, will leave at the end of the year, with no permanent successor lined up.

An SEC filing says Ms. Robinson will get $4.5 million plus health insurance for a 12-month retirement and consulting agreement, including “two-year non-competition, non-solicitation and non-disparagement covenants, a three-year cooperation covenant and an indefinite confidentiality covenant.”

The Times itself reported that Ms. Robinson’s pay in 2009 was $4.9 million, so she’ll earn almost as much as a retired consultant as as a full-time CEO.

The handy investment calculator on the Times corporate Web site shows that $10,000 invested in NYT stock the day Ms. Robinson took over as CEO, on December 27, 2004, would be worth $1,855.14 today, a decline of 81.45%. The price of the stock went from $40.59 when she took over to $7.53 today, and though some dividends were paid out early in her tenure as CEO, the dividend has since been suspended.


Sounds like a great business to me!

edutcher said...

Good luck to them.

All those Lefties always expect the government to pay for everything.

george said...

Why would anyone pay to be lied to?

Mary Beth said...

Or even more if they clear their cache!

When it tells me I've reached my limit of articles, I just open it in another browser.

somefeller said...

The NY Times will need to change to meet current needs, like any other business. It will probably go digital-only soon. But I suspect it will be around a decade from now and will still be very much a part of the national conversation, much to the chagrin of the Orcs who loathe it, but never cease to talk about it. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if the NY Times publishes an amusing "whatever happened to her" article about Sarah Palin sometime around 2021, written by Ross Douthat or someone like that.

MarkD said...

It's worth what I pay for it.

Steven said...

I use the YesScript and RefControl add-ons for Firefox.

Disabling Javascript on the NYT site with YesScript lets me read all the New York Times content I like, no subscription.

Using RefControl to tell the WSJ and FT sites I'm coming from http://google.com/ lets me read all the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times content I like, no subscription.

Maguro said...

But I suspect it will be around a decade from now and will still be very much a part of the national conversation, much to the chagrin of the Orcs who loathe it, but never cease to talk about it.

Yeah, no doubt everything is swell in NYT land, which why their stock has skyrocketed from $40 to $7.50 over the past decade. Take that, h8erz!

somefeller said...

I didn't say all was well in NYT Land. Obviously, the company has its problems, though stock price woes aren't unique to them. But most of the predictions of doom for the Times come from people who are talking about their fantasies of the comeuppance that will befall the dread Liberal Establishment and who like to talk about the supposed irrelevance of people and institutions that remain quite influential and are likely to remain so. And I suspect the people I'm talking about know that deep down, which makes the resentment burn even more.

Kirk Parker said...

MadMan FTW! Brevity, here, truly is the soul of wit.

Tim said...

The New York Times needs to fail, but only while there is a Republican President, so it doesn't get bailed out.

Steven said...

Oh, sure, somefeller, something called the New York Times will exist. Just like there have been five airlines named some variant of "Pan Am" over the last twenty years, and there's a Polaroid Corporation still in business that doesn't make film.

Maguro said...

I didn't say all was well in NYT Land. Obviously, the company has its problems, though stock price woes aren't unique to them. But most of the predictions of doom for the Times come from people who are talking about their fantasies of the comeuppance that will befall the dread Liberal Establishment and who like to talk about the supposed irrelevance of people and institutions that remain quite influential and are likely to remain so. And I suspect the people I'm talking about know that deep down, which makes the resentment burn even more.

Yeah, I understood what you were getting at. Problem is that your response ("We will bury Sarah Palin") was just as simplistic and tribal as what you were arguing against.

It's a simple fact that the NYT is a troubled company in a troubled industry. This is reflected not just by their stock price decline, but by the machinations they go through to keep Carlos Slim happy. Not the profile of a healthy firm.

All this is what makes their responses - the 20-view paywall, this educational sales scheme, etc.- interesting to me. Can they really make the online newspaper into a viable business model? Papers pretty much do nothing but lose craploads of money these days. I am very skeptical that the early success of the paywall is sustainable, but maybe marketing to the educational market will be their meal ticket. Time will tell, I guess.

AJ Lynch said...

Once in a while I will email a suggestion to a Philly Inquirer reporter. And I am always surprised how openly & angrily they respond. They don't know me - I am just a reader but they are so full of self-pity about their employer, the industry in general and their personal plight to be working in this "needed but overlooked and neglected industry" with little money to do the great writing they were destined to do.

richard mcenroe said...

SO lemme get this straight -- the NYT is going to try to raise money from the people who were crapping in Zuccotti Park and demanding more free stuff?

As a business model, it's flawless.