Dear New York Times: I Would Like to Pay for Your News, Please

So I got my iPad today. I’m impressed. (See the post below.)

But one thing I want to do is use it to read the news. As I wrote a while ago on Macworld, I think there are great opportunities to get people to pay for content – news and other types of web information – using this device.

So I downloaded the New York Times’ “Editors’ Choice” app, and I’m very disappointed. First, by the ads; there aren’t too many, yet, because this is new. But I’m sure there will be more. Second, by the limited number of stories available. I don’t want to read web sites with the iPad, unless they’re optimized for the device; but dedicated apps make sense.

However, if you don’t provide more news and no ads – for a fee – this app is essentially worthless. I don’t only want to read the stories you include, I want to read a lot of your stories (such as book reviews, but also stories from the archives).

So, please improve this app, then come up with a fair price. I’ll sign up right away.

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8 replies
  1. kirk says:

    Yes, it’s not optimized for that type of screen. You can zoom, of course, but it’s not ideal. The app they provide only has a limited selection of stories.

    Oh, and the web site has lots of ads…

    Reply
  2. Jim says:

    The NYT has already announced plans to go to a pay for content scheme in the future, as they are having their problems making money. Home delivery subscribers will still have unlimited access.

    I don’t imagine you get home delivery! We get Sunday only.

    Their site is the gold standard for news content.

    Reply
  3. Tony says:

    There will always be ad’s. The media hype of the iPad is primarily due to the fact that the content providers (i.e. the ‘media’) will profit from the ad revenue that their app’s will generate. Fees for the app’s can never approach the level of ad revenue. (BTW, I pay a subscription to MacWorld (print), so why is more than 50% of the mag ads?)

    Reply
  4. Michael P. Scott says:

    Kirk,

    Your review about CoverScout was so persuasive, I decided to find your blog (the MacWorld link doesn’t bring one to these pages, by the way). And — web sleuth that I consider myself to be — I found you and will subscribe.

    But I’m confused. I have the iPhone NYT app and agree with you — they’ve pre-screened the stories for you. I think it’s bogus.

    But I get a regular daily e-mail from the Times with a much more comprehensive listing of stories, some ads, and it’s great. One can spend hours reading through the e-mailed NYT.

    And of course there’s http://www.nytimes.com — I’m confused that you say this doesn’t display well on the iPad. Bummer. Really?

    I forget exactly HOW I got this daily e-mail report from the times but I’ll forward it to you for a look.

    Thanks for helping my classical collection on my iPhone. Finding Mahler in iTunes is problematic, eh?

    Mike

    Reply
    • kirk says:

      Well, it’s not that the website doesn’t display “well”, but it’s designed for a larger screen, and it’s full of ads. I would really rather pay and not get all these ads.

      Reply

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