Should the New York Times just give all subscribers Kindles?

Silicon Alley Insider did the math and discovered that it costs the New York Times twice as much money to print their newspaper every year than it would be to just hand all of its subscribers free Kindles and distribute the paper digitally. The math's as sound as any math that is extrapolated from uninvolved third parties can be, but the logic's a bit whack: the argument assumes that the only people who buys the New York Times are physical paper subscribers, which is certainly not true... in fact, quite the opposite. Far more people buy the New York Times at newstands than receive it on their doorstep. But Silicon Alley Insider says that doesn't matter, because their math is very conservative:
A source with knowledge of the real numbers tells us we're so low in our estimate of the Times's printing costs that we're not even in the ballpark. Are we trying to say the the New York Times should force all its print subscribers onto the Kindle or else? No. That would kill ad revenues and also, not everyone loves the Kindle. What we're trying to say is that as a technology for delivering the news, newsprint isn't just expensive and inefficient; it's laughably so.
There's few people even in print media these days who wouldn't nod their head to that last point. Printing The NYT Costs Twice As Much As Sending Every Subscriber A Free Kindle [Alley Insider]
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2 Responses to Should the New York Times just give all subscribers Kindles?

  1. Doudou75 says:

    If digital is a way forward then the online press should consider audio deliveries of their text content as well as the does with their ReadSpeaker service whereby you can listen as well as read articles.

  2. Josh Michtom says:

    I’ve often thought that the future for newspapers might be to have newspaper boxes and newsstand racks (and all the trucks and printing presses that support them) replaced with some sort of printer that could generate a hard copy of the newspaper on demand. I imagine that’s too expensive right now, but maybe it won’t be in the future. So perhaps in a few years, we’ll see Kindles for subscribers (presumably DRMed up the wazoo so they only work for one newspaper) and printers for the on-the-street purchaser.

    Oh, and the internet. That might be involved in news delivery someday.

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