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Links of the Day:

– The Democrat and Chronicle announced today it will begin charging online customers around May 1, “ending a free ride.” Rates and the number of articles visitors will be able to read for free per month haven’t been determined:

New content, such as additional coverage of food and wine, and innovation, entrepreneurship and small business, will be added, (Publisher Michael) Kane said.

Digital products will be tailored to suit a range of technologies: social media blurbs for mobile phones, for instance; a digital version of the printed newspaper page called an e-edition; and apps that allow users to access special editions that play to the strength of the iPad and Kindle Fire tablets.

Not mentioned in the paper’s story about itself is the fact online subscriptions are about shoring up print subscriptions as much as they are about raising digital revenue. The D&C figures you now have no incentive to cancel your paper if you know you have to pay for online content. The D&C charges more for paper ads, so this is a way to hang onto print a little longer.

– The IRS is about to auction off the “IHOP Mansion” in Skaneateles. Owned by a former drug dealer, it has been a major thorn in the side to neighbors.

– Village Voice Media runs prostitution advertisements for young girls. Nick Kristof has details in a very disturbing column.

– The wife of the soldier accused in the Afghanistan civilian massacre blogged about life as an army wife.

Has Cuomo lost his chance for greatness?

8 Responses to “Free Ride” Ending in May

  1. I don’t understand why the “D&C figures you now have no incentive to cancel your paper if you know you have to pay for online content.?”

    • March 18, 2012 at 3:31 pm Rachel responds:

      A big reason people cancel their newspaper subscription is they can get the content free online. Now there’s no reason to cancel (provided you still like print).

  2. “Backpage tries to screen out ads for minors and reports possible trafficking cases to the authorities.”

    Honestly, Kristof makes no attempt to refute this. If this is the case, what other responsibility do they have? You want to stop trafficking? Legalize and regulate the heck out of prostitution.

  3. I would be inclined to pay for online contect if the online experience was better. I find the current format clunky and uninteresting with too much scrolling down.

  4. March 19, 2012 at 12:45 am Lynn E responds:

    I just had this happen with the Los Angeles Times which recently did the same thing. I never realized how much I read the paper but I do. The NYT does have a thing where you can read articles with links from google, facebook and Twitter but LA times does not. I’ve found I can get more articles by using different browsers or devices. I have a Kindle subscription to the NYT but I can’t subscribe to all the newspapers. Frustrated, even though I know the papers need money.

  5. I have been a lifelong subscriber 56yrs. I will absolutely cancel my paper if charged on-line the entire front section is now nothing but AP reprints and an occasional bleeding heart story. The local section is nothing but short pieces that are just police press releases hardly any detail usually no name given the details are lacking or down right inaccurate. Totally biased toward the City and the Eastside like the rest of the County doesn’t exsist. I have been thinking of cancelling for awhile but this is the stick that broke the camels back.

  6. I know I’m dense but I still don’t get it … won’t a certain percentage of people cancel their subscription to the D&C and say something like: “I’m not going to pay for both and, I know the online-version won’t get thrown in a puddle or get stolen by the neighbor’s dog.” If I were a subscriber to the print-copy who also used the ‘free’ online service on a regular basis I think I’d have to ditch the paper and pay for the online service, especially knowing I could access it from mobile devices and, the possibilities will just be growing.
    I’m not anti-print – I was a district manager in circulation for three years with a well known newspaper in NC – I’m fond of the paper but, I’m poor and would have to do what makes the most sense. Maybe I’m just weird.

  7. April 19, 2012 at 7:29 pm A.J. Mori responds:

    Most long-time subscribers read D&C hard copy but rarely, if ever, refer to the web version.
    Many currently pay $19.39 monthly (EZ Pay and
    including Roctv). The new rate will increase that rate to $24.59… a hefty 26.8% bump for a service they won’t use. Any guesses as to the reader response ?

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