Pricing Should Be Simple

John Gruber:

One thing many companies — in any industry — can learn from Apple is the importance of simple pricing. If you make it easy for people to understand how much they’re paying, and what they’re paying for, it is more likely that they’ll buy it.


I used to pay a dollar a day to read the Times, plus more on Sunday. I stopped buying the daily paper when they raised the price to $1.25 or $1.50 – just more change to fish around for, plus I could read it online for free. I read most of the paper online on a daily basis, using a variety of devices from a variety of locations. I even buy the physical paper on occasion (usually Sundays). I get it all (mostly) for free, but I would gladly pay for the content (as I do for other content). I pay $30 a year just to get access to their crossword puzzles.

In other words, I should be the Times’ ideal demographic for their new pay service. But I’m not buying.

$455 a year for unlimited device access is too much. Paying less and only being able to read the paper from some devices is not progress.

$185 a year ($15 per month) is closer to reasonable, and I would probably buy in at that level (though I suspect I would be a minority). But that means buying a physical (paper) subscription that I don’t want and won’t read most days. So after someone drives a physical paper to my house, I will just throw it straight into recycling.

Way to be green, Grey Lady.

P.S. If I understand their FAQs (yes, there are more than one) right, I’ll still have to pony up $30 a year for the crossword.