In most of the magazine business, subscribers equal advertising dollars. It’s not the subscription fees that are important, but being able to guarantee a certain number of eyeballs on your pages for the foreseeable future. This leads to some ridiculous situations, like the New Yorker subscriber who received an urgent renewal notice because his subscription is expiring four years from now. [More]
The amount of money newspapers and magazines charge to advertisers is closely tied to their reader base. That’s why print media will often give discounts to people willing to subscribe for longer periods of time. But not the Denver Post, which wants you to pay significantly more per week if you go with the lengthier subscription. [More]
Apple has tinkered with its in-app subscription purchases policies, making things more flexible for publishers and possibly more difficult for consumers. Previously, Apple required publishers to charge their lowest prices for subscriptions purchased within apps, but now Apple has dropped pricing restrictions. [More]
A New Yorker profile this week details how 80% of AOL’s revenue comes from subscriptions, and, according to an ex-AOL exec, 75% of those users are people who subscribe to the dial-up service and don’t need. Basically we’re talking about folks who have another kind of ISP and don’t realize that you don’t need to pay AOL anymore if you’re just using it for email. The group can be further divided into two sub-groups, the old, and the lazy. Here’s a step-by-step process for canceling AOL and saving some cash while still keeping access to your AOL email account. [More]
If you watch enough TV, there’s a good chance you’ve seen ads for The Green Millionaire, which purports to be a free book that will teach you how to take advantage of government programs to do things like “keep your gas tank full for free” and “get big dollars to ‘green’ your home, even if you rent.” But some complain they’re getting more than the free book — they’re getting a pricey magazine subscription they can’t get out of. [More]
If record labels decided to pull some of their songs from the Zune Pass service in the past couple of weeks, they did a poor job telling Microsoft about it. The company seems to be as in the dark as Zune Pass subscribers about why songs, albums, or entire discographies have gone missing. Ars technica reports that a Microsoft employee wrote on a Zune forum, “We are investigating your reported missing albums indicated in this post—and will come back to you as soon as we understand why they’re missing.” [More]
Dana used to be a Netflix subscriber, and they want her back. To entice her back, they sent her an e-mail offering a free trial. She decided to try it out…but Netflix wouldn’t let her. Because, according to their system, she is an existing Netflix customer. Who received an email addressing her as a former customer. [More]
Jon received this e-mail from the book club QPB. It promises free shipping, and a free travel set, if he pays shipping and handling. That shipping is on the travel set, we presume, but no one can really be sure. [More]
If you’ve been tempted by Facebook ads promising cheap “introductory” offers from Seattle Coffee Direct or World Bean Cafe, located in the world coffee capital of Evanston, Illinois, readers Adam and Ivan say, “don’t do it!” The ads promise t-shirts or a free coffee grinder as an incentive to sign up, or tempting introductory offers. But you’re really signing up for a coffee delivery service for close to $80 per month. Or more, as reader Ivan learned. He says that the company accidentally billed him for, and sent, two bags of coffee per day.
You know what’s great about subscriptions? You forget to cancel them. You also pay more over time than you would if you were forced to buy items individually. Yeah, that’s awesome—for companies. The New York Times looks at current research on how consumers think about subscriptions, and why companies want to push them more than ever.
Meet Michael. He likes to read the newspaper. Sadly, his attempts to resubscribe to the Washington Post have resulted in abject failure. Hmm, we thought that newspapers were sort of hurting for subscribers…
Freescore.com is one of those online companies that offers a free trial, and then attempts to enroll its customers in a $30/month subscription service. Now they’re suing Yahoo in an attempt to reveal an anonymous blogger who quoted a Reuters article when criticizing the service, and who pointed out that Freescore is owned by a company with a reputation for billing customers without permission.
Game Publisher Square Enix Slapped With Class Action Suit For False Advertising, 'Product Enrichment'
One day, gamers will get together to sue Square Enix for always lying to them about how infinitely sequelized “Final” Fantasy games are never really final. But until then we’ll just have to sit back and see how this false advertising federal class action lawsuit against the game publisher plays out.
Just when free tv on the internet was starting to get good, Hulu board member Jon Miller had to go and talk about subscription fees. Miller, an AOL refugee who’s now squeezing cash out of consumers for News Corp, said last week of subscription fees: “in my opinion the answer could be yes. I don’t see why that shouldn’t happen over time… it seems to me that over time that could be a logical thing.” Charging for content isn’t his only big idea…
A couple of years ago, the New York Times did a piece on the poor treatment of teens hired to travel the country and sell magazine subscriptions door-to-door, but they’re not the only ones getting the raw end of the deal.