We have all enjoyed the cost benefits of digitized media from Itunes, Amazon and a host of others embracing new digital media, devices and distribution channels. The challenge for all of the publishers, distributors and subscription services is not only how to get more wallet share but also move into higher margin revenue. Well I think the NY-Times is clearly looking to take high ground with their exclusive marketing approach. Only time can tell us if they are successful and reverse the current commoditization trend for content but lots of on-line eyes are on the prize.
According to Wikopedia a commodity is a good for which there is demand, but which is supplied without qualitative differentiation across a market. A commodity has full or partial fungibility; that is, the market treats it as equivalent or nearly so no matter who produces it. So while others are distributing the same content companies like Magnolia Picture, AOL, Netflix, Comcast, New York Times and WSJ are looking to break away from the pack by providing premium content. Will this strategy work? Premium content exclusivity outside the winning Lotto numbers, sports scores or stock prices for next week will not likely demand a premium price point in a Internet connected world but if the content is temporal like MLB or straight from the theatre, or packaged with other memberships services the verticals become very interesting.
Source: Business Insider http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-digital-subscription-prices-2011-3