New York Times Shafts E-Reader Users With Paywall Plan

Print subscribers come out pretty good in The New York Times’ new digital subscription plan. Rather than having to pony up a few more bucks when they go online, they get access to the Times’ Web site for free.
 
However, those who elect to subscribe to the newspaper via an e-reader—like Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook or the Sony Reader—may be saving a few trees, but not any cash.
 
One overlooked detail from last week’s paywall announcement is that the Times’ e-reader subscribers have to pay $15 for access to the Web site beyond the 20 free monthly articles—just like those who don’t subscribe to the Times in any form. Combined with the $19.99 monthly fee those folks pay for full access to the daily paper via their e-readers, they could end up paying about $35 a month if they want unfettered access to the Times’ site.
 
That price is about the same as the package the Times is offering for access to its site along with use of its smartphone and iPad apps. Yet Kindle and Nook readers would have to pay even more if they want access to the Times on additional devices.
 
A Times spokesperson promises that its e-reader subscription offerings will change “soon,” but the company wouldn’t comment further. It is also unclear how long the Times’ partnerships with e-reader makers will last.
 
At least e-reader subscribers get to view each day’s paper in its entirety. Subscribers who pay to receive access to the Times’ smartphone and tablet apps receive only a feed of content from the Times’ Web site as it is updated—not the full paper.