Wow. $165 a year for the New York Times Reader?

The New York Times announced that it will be charging $165 a year or $14.95 a month for access to the WPF-based New York Times Reader. The price is a bit higher than I would have thought, but I think the decision is a good one and goes to show that better experiences can be worth a premium.

New York Times Reader

According to the New York Times, the Reader, based on Windows Presentation Foundation that I covered when it came out, will charge based on a subscription model. The software will be free for subscribers, but for others it will cost $165 a year or $14.95 a month. I missed this yesterday, so I apologize for being late to the game, but I noticed it on Techmeme today and thought it deserved a mention.

That's a chunk of change, but I have faith they did the market research here and came up with a price they thought was viable. The comments on the blog post are a bit of a mix, some people seem okay with paying that price others are decidedly unhappy. It sounds like they're also incorporating the crossword and their TimesSelect service, so this seems to be a convergence of the online effort.

A lot of the complaints were about charging for news in an era where it seems to be free, but the people at the New York Times looked at the reader and decided it was compelling enough to charge for, and I can't blame them. I still think it's a great way to read the news; far and away better than a regular website, so why not charge a premium for that experience? It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but right now I like the direction.

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