Jim Letourneau's Blog

Investing, Technology, Travel, Geology, Music, Golf. I think that covers it.

Print to Digital Paper Pricing

I'm a fan of digital publications. My timely download of The New Yorker  got me one of  LA's most coveted dinner reservations.  The print version hadn't even hit the stands by the time my wife and I flew to California (we were going anyways, I'm not that spontaneous...yet). Don't get me wrong, I like paper magazines and newspapers as well but I'm a packrat and digital information is a Godsend for me. 

I'm not a fan of overpriced digital publications. A person well versed in digital trends might surmise that great journalism should become almost free as distribution costs approximate nil. However, look what happened with mobile phone roaming charges. Undecipherable bills and lots of gouging, especially if you cross an international border. Your gas mileage doesn't increase by 10 times when you drive your car across a border, but I digress. 

The transition from print to digital is finally starting in earnest. Paywalls are everywhere.   Case in point, The Globe and Mail has put up a paywall. They make you navigate through two screens before  you can even figure out what they are charging but the important question is are you willing to pay $19.99/month for digital daily news? The full on paper version is $430.56/year or $35.88 which includes Globe Unlimited (digital access).  

According to this article If you build it, will they pay? Paywalls ignite debate across Canada, the Globe and Mail is probably priced in the right ballpark. More than a local daily but less than the New York Times for a digital subscription. I know I'd be all over it at a price closer to $10 though I'm happily subscribing to monthly digital magazines for $20.

If I get blocked enough times at The Globe and Mail I'll pay up. They have hefty business coverage but I doubt they're too hard hitting on their advertisers. Please leave a comment if you're aware of any truly investigative Globe and Mail business reporting. If its really good stuff, a hedge fund probably figured it out first, took a position and then, and only then, spooned it out to reporters. Who is winning awards in business reporting? That's who I'm looking for (and I will answer my own question unless someone volunteers some answers) .

In an nice bit of irony, last week I sent some money towards Wikipedia. I know I use it every day - so I pay to Keep it Free.