The New York Times has long been the gold standard of journalism in the United States, but for an unknown number of print subscribers, regular daily access to it is coming at a solid gold price as well.
During remarks at UBS 46th Annual Global Media and Communications Conference, Times COO Meredith Levien revealed the pricey subscription fees while remarking about how business was doing for the print side of the news outlet.
“Print still has a very clear place in the lives of subscribers,” she said, noting that some Times readers were ponying “upwards of 1,000 a year” for the paper.
The Times confirmed the numbers, but said it was reserved only for readers outside the New York City metro area.
“The annual full-price 7-day print subscription (which includes all digital access) outside the NY Metro area can cost more than $1,000,” a spokesperson told TheWrap on Monday.
The same spokesperson did not respond to follow up inquiries about how many subscribers were paying that figure or what made it so expensive. A representatives at a Times general care center that handles accounts was willing to break it down.
Not including, specials, discounts and introductory rates, a Times subscription for the New York City metro area — which also includes bits of New Jersey, Connecticut and most much of upstate New York — would be $16.25 per week for full Times access and home delivery coming out to a still steep $845.00 per year. Going beyond that coverage zone, prices jumped to $20.25 or $1,053 per year.
This also doesn’t include sales tax, which in many states, was also levied on top of the subscription fee. The welcome center rep, named Tom, also said he expected prices to only climb higher.
“The last three Januarys there has been a rate increase, and I suspect there will be one this January,” he told TheWrap.
While the numbers show there is still money to squeeze out of print subscribers, the Times has been open about hitching their future to a broad base of digital subscribers — paying somewhat more modest regular fees. In their quarterly earnings report in November, the paper revealed they had topped the 4 million subscriber mark. At a CNN media summit also last month, Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger told Brian Stelter that his paper was looking to grow that figure up to 10 million.