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WSJ on the Kindle, meet price elasticity

News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch has a bevy of pay-for-content experiments planned, but he should be ready to meet some pushback.

News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch has a bevy of pay-for-content experiments planned, but he should be ready to meet some pushback. One grand experiment, the Wall Street Journal's price increase on the Kindle, has turned this customer off.

The Wall Street Journal subscription on the Kindle jumped from $9.99 a month to $14.99 in August. I noticed the increase with the September billing cycle (the WSJ slipped one by me).

The Kindle subscription was really an additional $9.99 for the convenience---I already have a WSJ.com subscription. But a 50% jump in the price for no value at all---the Kindle WSJ doesn't update regularly.

If the Journal via the Kindle were my only subscription perhaps I could justify the increase. However, the price increase for a supplement pushed me over the edge and I unsubscribed. Frankly, you could argue that my WSJ subscription should follow me around to whatever platform I use.

Also see: Rupert Murdoch's grand subscription plan: Much ado over minimal revenue?

The WSJ is free to charge whatever it wants and I'm free to cancel. And I'm not alone. From Amazon's reviews:

I didn't mind paying $9.99 for the WSJ on my Kindle. It was a fair price for the convenience and automatic daily delivery. I could read it in the car during traffic stops etc on the morning commute. But suddenly and unexpectedly the price surged a whopping 50% from $9.99 to $14.99. This is just too much to pay for this subscription and I have since cancelled it. To make it worse, it was really the WSJ "Lite". There is a great deal of content missing from the daily Kindle version.

And.

At $10/month the Kindle edition was convenient, portable, and pretty readable.

At $15/month - you've lost me as a subscriber!

And.

I enjoyed my subscription to the Kindle version of the WSJ when it was $9.99. Having the WSJ auto-downloaded to my Kindle every day was very nice. However, on 8/5/2009 Amazon hiked my rate by 50% to $14.99 without informing me. I canceled on principle. Too bad for me and too bad for Amazon.

Mr. Murdoch, meet price elasticity.