WSJ iPad Pricing Model Is Bad News

AFP reports that the Wall Street Journal plans to charge $17.99 a month ($216/year) for an iPad subscription. This pricing model is hard to explain, given other WSJ subscription plans. And I worry that such extreme subscription plans could cloud the iPad debut and doom product adoption.

What are the various pricing schemes for the Wall Street Journal?

An electronic version of any publication should not cost more than its printed version due to the almost-zero per unit distribution cost associated with the electronic version. Period.

The iPad is more like a small computer than a phone in its reading area. As such, it should not require device-dependent applications to access Internet content: this balkanization of the Internet is not a GoodThing. Computer software/hardware balkanization was the impetus for Sir Tim Berners-Lee to develop hypertext protocol and the web in the first place!

News isn’t like a song: we don’t read a story over and over again. The iTunes model isn’t going to salvage the news media’s business model.

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