The New York Times paywall goes up next week, and the knocks against it keep on coming. I have yet to read anything defending their crazy-expensive pricing model, though lots and lots of people say that they'd be willing to pay for the Times, if it were priced right. This would seem to be a pretty clear message, but having announced this whole thing after years of speculation, they're not going to change it all right before it launches. They'll have to wait until after it's a big mess.
But now I'm starting to think they have a different strategy in mind. Slog commenter care bear alerted us to a an email she got from Lincoln (still?), offering her free access to the Times for the rest of the year.
And then today Groupon throws out 12 weeks of the Sunday edition for $36. Any print subscription will come with unlimited access through the paywall on all devices, so is this the strategy? Price direct access too high and then get people to subscribe to the print edition via partnerships and discounts, thus getting them the digital access for free and claiming big success?
If they ever release numbers (they better), it will be very interesting to see how many of the people who get unlimited access to the digital editions get it via a print subscription or some promotion.
Also, Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger thinks that some people will circumvent their "purposely porous" paywall, but it'll be mostly "high school kids and people out of work."
Finally, check out this illuminating infographic comparing the cost of a New York Times digital subscription to various other digital services. Yowch.