Andy McKay

Oct 24, 2012

How cheap am I?

Very cheap. Especially when it comes to online services. At the moment I'm still undecided about rdio, at a whopping $4.99 a month. Perhaps it's just that $8 a month, netflix is such a bargain and has spoiled me.

Recently the Globe and Mail started introducing a pay wall. Unlike pay walls at other establishments, for example the Vancouver Sun, this is a paper I actually read and has good news in it. Frankly the pay wall won't end well for the Vancouver Sun. But this time, this pay wall actually matters to me.

So how much is it? $19.99 a month. It comes free with a 5 or 6 delivery, total cost (to me in BC) $33.73 or $40.19.

A while back I got the Globe and Mail print edition, they offered it to us for free. We had it for about 3 months and 90% of the time it went straight into the recycling. I did once sit on the bus reading the paper, I felt like an anachronism. The only person not looking at a phone. There's just no point in getting the print edition.

So $19.99 a month for a paid subscription? To me the value proposition just isn't there. I want to support journalism because I believe it's very important to a society and I do want the Globe and Mail to do well.

First off, I used to get the Globe and Mail for free, so now paying for it seems like an extravagance. It's gone from free to $20 very quickly. Secondly, the majority of the news is not exclusive. It's news that is available elsewhere. Yes, there are columns and articles that are not, but a lot of the news is not, it's repetition of other news. The news that I get from RSS, Twitter and other sources like the National Post, CBC, The Guardian.

To me the latter point is the biggest issue. It's just not unique enough, so for the moment I'm going to pass. See how I adapt and see what happens. And maybe the Globe and Mail will bring the price down to single digits. Or the newspaper industry will consolidate down and the crappy newspapers will vanish leaving only a few quality on line editions around.

And before any says, I know I can hack the pay wall, it's pretty easy. That's not the point, let's be responsible about this.