Your paywall is going up on March 28th. Fair enough. I see non-print-subscribers will need to pay somewhere between $15 and $35 per month to access more than a few articles.
We can agree not to bicker over the inherent stupidity of having tiers like “web” vs. “tablet.” That sort of foolishness is left as an exercise for you, the apparent fool. But I will say: charge for the app but then make it the best way anyone can imagine for accessing the single-priced, dumb pipes version of your content.
That said, what I don’t see is that I, the potential online subscriber, will be getting much of anything in return for my hard earned dollars (other than baseline access, of course).
So here’s a short list of what I, the paying subscriber, expect from you:
1) Access to all articles as a single page by default. If I am mentally unstable enough to request articles be broken into several pages by default, then so be it; however, it is therefore sadly unlikely I am able to hold a job and pay for a subscription. But if you’re going to persist in this multipage CPM crap, then I, the subscriber, should get to choose whether or not I have to take part in it now that I’m paying for the privilege.
2) No content-obstructive ads, ever. I realize ads are a fact of life for you, me, and us, and I respect that they have to be there (just like they are in the physical paper, whether or not I subscribe to it). However, the physical paper does not suddenly and irrevocably wrap my head with a mandatory, inescapable, full page ad that then lingers for some length of time each time I pass one while reading the physical Times. Neither should the electronic version of that article. You are a content company, start respecting both your content and the prospective buyer of said content.
3) Mobile ads should furthermore be minimizeable. Pixels are precious on an iPhone or other small screened devices. If you are going to tier out “mobile” versions for special and exrtra cost over “web” versions, then you have to let me minimize the ad. I have seen your ad. Now let me drop it down or scroll it up so I can have a few more lines of text per page. In fact, since you love tiers so much, mobile is the one space where I should be able to purchase an entirely ad-free version for some additional fee. Those pixels are worth that much to me. At least give me the option to pay for them.
4) Finally: a subscriber should have access to full text RSS feeds of everything you publish.
That this is very little to ask is self-evident. That none of it will be granted is similarly self-evident. That none of these key, user favoring absences will be cited when the paywall fails to attract much in the way of a revenue stream is probably also all-too-self-evident. So it goes.