Damon Kiesow writes an intriguing piece at Poynter, first and foremost because he clearly breaks down the various cost options for the New York Times paywall. The mythology surrounding the paywall has been so extensive as of late that one might think its pricing is confusing and impenetrable, but Kiesow makes it all seem very simple — just rather expensive. And not merely expensive, but expensive in such a particular way so as to (possibly?) target Steve Jobs’ chokehold over our daily media consumption.
[A]fter comparing the Times’ subscription prices to The Wall Street Journal’s, I see a different goal: promoting the mobile Web over native apps on digital tablets.
Kiesow’s thesis is based on the fact that a Web subscription to the Times is $195 a year, and the Times’ website works just fine on the iPad. So what would be the purpose of also purchasing the iPad app for the Times, which costs an additional $65 a year?
Rather than favoring print, perhaps the Times is moving to de-emphasize native mobile apps and the stranglehold Apple has over that ecosystem.
It’s early to tell whether or not his theory holds water. But in the meantime, we love a feud.