Gerald Marzorati, the assistant managing editor for new media and strategic initiatives at the New York Times, said something out loud during a recent panel discussion that everyone knows, but no one really wants to admit: using a credit card separates you from how much you’re really spending, and subscribers seem blissfully unaware of subscription hikes.
Of course, it helps that subscriptions auto-renew, forcing subscribers to choose to opt out.
“We have north of 800,000 subscribers paying north of $700 a year for home delivery,” Marzorati said. “Of course, they don’t seem to know that.”
As evidence that Times subscribers don’t realize how much a subscription costs, he pointed to what happened when the paper raised its home-delivery price by 5 percent during the recession: Only 0.01 percent of subscribers canceled. “I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that they’re literally not understanding what they’re paying,” he said. “That’s the beauty of the credit card.”
NY Times Editor on the ‘Beauty’ of Readers’ Ignorance [Mixed Media] (Thanks, Kevin!)