An apparent (and likely very purposeful) loophole in the New York Times (NYSE: NYT) paywall plans: At least two of the newspaper’s home delivery subscription packages — which also come with unlimited access to the NYTimes.com website and apps — are cheaper than the “all digital access” subscription package the company announced today.
The “all digital access” package which includes full access to the NYTimes.com and its tablet and smartphone apps, costs $35 every four weeks, or $8.75 a week. By contrast, the paper’s Weekday home delivery package, which features Monday through Friday home delivery costs $7.40 a week — at least in Seattle, where I live (The rates are even cheaper in New York City). The paper’s Sunday-only home delivery subscription package, meanwhile, costs $7.50 a week.
And that, of course, is if a subscriber is paying full price; the NYT offers new subscribers 50 percent discounts for home delivery for a limited period of time and is known for steeply cutting the price if an existing subscriber threatens to cancel.
In other words, penny-pinching NYT readers who want access to the paper on all of their digital devices are better off ordering the Weekday home delivery package and simply tossing the newspapers that arrive on their doorsteps. They will save roughly $70 a year. (A TechCrunch reader today says he asked the paper’s subscription department not to bother delivering the paper but the department didn’t understand the request.)
Of course, the loophole is probably not a loophole. The Times would prefer to add new print subscribers than digital ones considering the amount of advertising revenue the print edition generates.