Monday, March 23, 2009

The Kindle and the Newspaper

Via Andrew Sullivan I saw this post about the cost of a NYTimes and a Kindle:
Not that it's anything we think the New York Times Company should do, but we thought it was worth pointing out that it costs the Times about twice as much money to print and deliver the newspaper over a year as it would cost to send each of its subscribers a brand new Amazon Kindle instead.
This would seem to me to be a smart move for local papers. A Kindle costs $359. The 2-year cost of my subscription to the Minneapolis Star Tribune is $338. I have been getting the print edition for all the years we have lived in Minnesota, but we have been talking for two years now about ending our subscription since we get most of our news online. It's going to happen eventually.

But what if the newspaper sent me a new Kindle and in exchange I signed a 2 year contract for the price of a print edition. I get the paper delivered on the Kindle; they save the cost of printing and delivering the paper. I would bet that papers could get a better deal from Amazon if they can help sell lots of Kindles.

Something like this is going to have to happen if local papers are going to survive.

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