New York Times Needs More Subscription Dollars, Please

By
Pedestrians pass in front of the New York Times Co. building in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, April 27, 2011. New York Times Co., publisher of the namesake newspaper, said more than 100,000 people signed up for new digital subscriptions, a sign online revenue may help offset a decline in print advertising and circulation. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photo: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

With no end in sight for the decline of ad revenue at the New York Times, money from paying customers is more important than ever. As a result, loyal readers were alerted in letters over the weekend that they will see their second subscription rate increase in two years come January, with a one-year deal now running $660 in the greater New York City region and $837 around the country. "Effective January 7, 2013, we are raising home delivery prices on average by 5 percent," said Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy, while local weekend subscription rates will rise about 10 percent. "The increase applies to all home delivery subs, not just new customers."

Single issues are staying the same price for now, as are digital subscriptions.

For three consecutive quarters, the company has reversed traditional industry standards and taken in more revenue from circulation than from advertising as a result of "the challenging economic environment, ongoing secular trends and an increasingly complex and fragmented digital advertising marketplace." Until the business side figures something else out, prices are likely to keep going up unless people stop paying for what they agree, at the moment, is a valuable product.