Update: While the WSJ is certainly trying to drive a wedge between the NYT and its readers and advertisers, it looks like the Dow Jones-owned paper’s low-cost subscriptions have been around a while, says media watchdog CJR. Also, it’s worth pointing out the NYT is not averse to introductory subscriber discounts as well, even before the announcement of the WSJ’s push into local markets like New York and San Francisco.
Original post: It’s just a matter a matter of days until the WSJ unveils its special New York edition, and to make sure it attracts attention, the paper is cutting its subscription price significantly. The target of this first shot in an attempted newspaper price war is, naturally, the NYT. According to Reuters, the WSJ has been soliciting NYT New York metro subscribers with a home delivery price of $10 per month — a considerable discount compared to the NYT’s $40 per monthly subscription charge.
Those who subscribe to the WSJ’s New York print edition online can get the paper for the slightly lower price of $2.29 per week. Not surprisingly, given News Corp (NYSE: NWS). CEO and chairman Rupert Murdoch’s ardor for online paywalls, that $2.29 price does not include a WSJ.com subscription. Existing print subs can get online access for $30, while online-only subs are charged $1.99 per week, according to the WSJ’s site.
The print price cut comes as the WSJ has also tried to pry major retailers’ ad dollars away from the NYT with discounted rates as well. So far, the NYT, hasn’t indicated that it will engage its rival in a lowering prices to advertisers and consumers. But with circulation dollars viewed as an important part of its revenue stream, the NYT will only be under even more pressure to hold its ground on rates. But if the WSJ does get large numbers of its readers to switch, the NYT will have little choice but to follow its rival’s terms.