In March this year “The Australian” newspaper increased its subscription price from $6 per week to $8. This is for digital access with or without the optional home delivery of the hardcopy of the “The Weekend Australian”. Of course, over a year that’s an increase from $312 to $416.
I believe it is the best newspaper in the country and wouldn’t want to be without it, but they basically have a monopoly as the national newspaper. I don’t think there are many commodities today that could get away with a 33% price hike.
I have thanked them for their excellent paper, but asked them to record my disappointment about the price increase.
You feel Australian newspaper is the best?? You know what they say about opinions?
I feel that is better we agree to disagree about the quality of that news aggregator.
But that is expensive for access I think you should vote with you feet and tell them to shove it, paying up and moaning only emboldeneds them.
I have to keep abreast of current affairs as part of my job as a writer and speaker. I feel that the Australian newspaper serves that function fairly well on a single platform. I just feel a bit held to ransom when they racket up the price. At least I can claim it as a tax deduction.
I would hope anyone involved in writing and speaking would use a variety of sources across the spectrum, and especially a broader range than just those that inter-meld opinion with news as if they are one. You might also check thenewdaily, news, and guardian web sites for an alternative cross section to counterbalance any single hard edged bias, and all are at n/c.
This is probably getting a bit off topic now. I think people’s apparent antipathy toward a conservative newspaper has clouded the issue.
Obviously for research I draw on countless news and academic sources. But as a go-to for a quick briefing on what’s happening in the world, I trust the Australian ahead of the other print rags.
Anyhow, my original point was on the price increase, and I’d value any further discussion/ideas about that.
My comment might have been a bit better stated in its entirety, but a point is that there are high quality web news services as well as those masquerading opinion as fact across the spectrum that are not subscription firewalled.
I suspect they do not care about your note of disappointment, although it might be filed somewhere, as long as you continue paying them. It is only when they lose subscribers en masse they care. When that happens many clueless businesses often raise their prices further to cover their lost revenue, rather than getting the message they are pricing themselves out of the market. Perhaps that is what caused your 33% hit.
The parent companies of sites such as The Australian, Herald Sun, The Age, etc, etc (eg most Newscorp and Fairfax sites) as well as a number of international sites do not seem to comprehend readers have finite budgets and they will not prosper long term by treating their subscriptions as if their web sites are hard copy with difficult to obtain alternatives. Further, many readers are not “locals” and view high “value added” prices targeting “locals” differently regardless.
I pay a “voluntary supporter membership” to a news site that is not firewalled, and decline to pay what I have always deemed outrageous prices for others, and I will turn my ad blocker off for some. If I could pay, $XXX p.a. and have access to all the news sites I wanted, or they were more in the order of $5~10 p.m. each, I might be inclined to sign up. But my paying a few hundred per site is not going to happen.
Part of my cynicism is that simplistically the incremental costs of delivering digital news, beyond server capacity and bandwidth is nil. Hardcopy requires printing facilities and the supply chain of end user delivery with newsagent profits… The commonality is the cost of “reporting”. Wouldn’t it be better if they had say 1 million subscribers at $100 p.a. than an increasing number of subscribers feeling done over at $400 p.a. and eventually dropping out?
Thank you, TheBBG. I think you make very valid points and I appreciate you explaining them at length. I find that I agree with you after all!
I have been using the (paid) service Inkl to read articles from a number of different websites that I would not necessarily have access to. You can pay them monthly or per article (10c each) and they are ad-free.
This may be a more affordable alternative to consider if your objective is to get new from a wide variety of sources.
I can’t see anything in the Terms of Service that disallows this, so here is a link to Inkl giving access to 50 articles for free. I will remove it if I find out otherwise.
Disclaimer: I also get 50 articles as a result. My only association with Inkl is as a customer.
I decided that I should let Fairfax earn some money from me last weekend, while I was reading a number of stories on their various sites. (Yes, mostly click-bait.) My mind was changed when each of the half-dozen pages decided separately - at separate times - to ignore my muting of the autoplayed video and blare some ad for a fake cold remedy at me with full volume!
I would close down the current irritant, and then ten seconds later a new one would commence. In the end I closed them all, then lodged complaints with Fairfax (pointing out that they had just lost what little ad revenue they were getting from me) and to the Advertising Standards Bureau.
(s)The ASB will undoubtedly conduct a full and thorough investigation before announcing that they don’t really deal with consumers - they’re only there to pretend that there are some standards. And of course they can’t punish anyone in the industry that pays their salaries! (/sarcasm)