Phew its finally out in the open
We've all been thinking about pay walls for months and months now so it feels quite a relief that Murdoch's strategy for The Times and Sunday Times is finally out in the open.
The payment mechanism makes sense to me. At £1 a day or £2 a week they've priced it 'to go'. Its priced absolutely to encourage people away from the daily spend into the weekly committment. Why spend £1 a day when I can spend £2 for the whole week etc
The reason this is sensible is that there is an increasing recognition amongst publishers that its good business to have fewer people comitted to spending something and than large numbers comitted to spending nothing at all!
I know this sounds obvious but its taken publishers some time to get here. Lifetime value is finally becoming more central to the way publishers look at customers . For too long publishers ignored the value of relationship with readers. Now they are wide awake to the fact is of critical importance and its where the value lies.Hooray
With this payment structure they are incentivising readers through low weekly prices to make a committment. Once committed they are hooked and can be sold other bits and pieces.
Its going to be fascinating to see how many sign up and on which of the two tariffs.
I'm less concerned by the damage to visitor numbers as the advertising led commercial model around eyeballs was not working. I'm glad its moving on.
I had another thought.
Why would I continue to buy a newsagent copy of the TT and ST paying £1 a day, £1.50 on saturday and £2 on sunday when I can simply pay £2 for the week for digital access and save £5.50 a week (a massive £250 a year).
Am I alone in thinking that the digital offer might infact impact on cover price revenues as people do the maths and swap to digital access. Would'nt that be something?
Now this may not matter as its obviously far cheaper to produce a digital 'copy' and therefore the margin on £2 is probably greater that it is on the £5.50 physical copy (not paper, no printing, no distribution etc).
Lets see. Whatever happens the market is moving and its a relief