the audit

Buy a Kindle, Get the Times for Free

October 1, 2009

A Friend of The Audit passed us an email he got from The New York Times offering a package deal of a Kindle DX, a Kindle subscription to the Times. To seal the deal, the Times helpfully throws in an NYT Kindle cover, sort of like the old SI football-telephone enticement.

What’s interesting about this is that essentially it means if you buy the $499 Kindle DX you get the Times for free for a year. Presumably Amazon is partially subsidizing this deal, which the email implies is only for former print subscribers.

But it also probably means the Times is foregoing part of the already-low revenue it gets from Kindle subscriptions in a bid to lock in readers to the product long-term.

Who knows if it will work. Even if it does, it’s not going to save the newspaper, as I wrote here. Not when papers only get about a third of the revenue from a normal Kindle subscription.

But, hey, it’s better than nothing.

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR’s business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.