Readers respond to introduction of digital membership
Our announcement that the four Arkansas Times blogs will move behind a metered paywall beginning Thursday, Aug. 1, drew more than a hundred comments on the Arkansas Blog. Among them:
I happily support public radio with a monthly bank draft, and I'll happily do the same with the Times. I currently pay for Sunday-only delivery of the Democrat, which includes web access. I do this for (1) the crossword puzzles in the paper paper, and (2) the obituaries online.
I remember taking your survey a while back. In the open comments section I said something to the effect of "if I could get the obituaries from somewhere else, I'd cancel my subscription to the Democrat."
Well guess what? My office happens to be in a library. Monday through Friday I can go to the first floor and read the obits in the paper down there.
In light of the AT's new subscription service, I can no longer justify my subscription to the Democrat. Buh-bye, Walt.
P.S., it wouldn't hurt my feelings any if you put the crossword puzzle back in your paper version.
I can see paying $5 a month for a product that doesn't actually need to be printed, but $10 is too steep. Especially since the print edition is free. I also refuse to pay the online price for the Demozette. I would be happy to have an online only subscription with them, but it is ridiculous that they charge the same for online only as for home delivery.
I am an independent and like to get viewpoints from many sources, and have very much enjoyed the Times coverage of a variety of issues. I may not always agree with their point of view, but I like to know about others' opinions and views.
I'm in already. Note that those of us in the boondocks don't have DSL and lose the connection many times during the day because of the long lines. It is also faster on this dial-up to go out and come back in than to wait for the screen to reload. I may be in and out a dozen times a day, a few times in a single seating, but I do that for other news sites also.
And about concern about the $9.99, the payment allows you to pay more so I rounded it up to $10. I donate to KUAR, local foodbanks, and my hobby organization monthly, why not my news source?
couldn't be better
Some of those of us who have remained faithful annual members back since the slick-paper monthly days, even when you were giving away for free in town what we were paying money for out in the country, who thought of the blog as a morning and evening family coffee shop, will have to stop and think about limited resources before commiting to $120 per year.
There is no substitute for the local information I get from ARTimes, and not a day goes by that I don't visit the blog. I probably spend an average of 45 minutes per day reading the blog. I have also enjoyed the paper edition for many years, never paid a dime for it. I'm several years ahead in benefit per dollar when it comes to the ARTimes, probably a decade. So, for the first 10 years, I'll just consider it $5/month for the current edition, and $5/month toward a past month. It's money well spent for me.
I'm in. Plus a little extra. And I will not miss the trolls.
Feller just can't get ahead these days. Walked away from Harlow's in Greenville $130 richer Friday night and now the Arkansas Times is fixin' to get every dime of it. But, hey, it'll be winnings well-spent.
Max has to pay for all those vacations some way. It's either greed or the loss of Arkansas Autobuyer has forced the Times to do this. Liberals taxing Liberals! I like it!
I think you are digging your own grave here, but I understand the business nature of things. I will need some time to think about it here, as I subscribe to the AR Dem Gaz (sunday only), Nat Geo, The Drake, Dirt Rag Mag, and the Arkansas Game and Fish periodical.
I will probably just go back to reading the weekly paper in the sauna.
arkansas panic fan
Although I know you are only extending your tradition of being the predominate progressive voice in Arkansas, I don't understand why any news outlet would cast itself as the "progressive voice" or "conservative voice" for any segment of our society. I believe that when you do that, you are announcing to a significant number of your potential readers, "Hey, nothing for you to see here. Move along." I primarily visit the Arkansas Blog to see what my liberal neighbors are thinking, and I opine when I want to say something, even though I and other conservatives are not welcome there by the majority of the other contributors. When I visit the blog, I often divert my attention to features I see teased at the top of the page, and I'll read those as well. The coverage the other day of the police shooting which caused quite a stir was fantastic. My wish would be for an Arkansas Times that would continue with the great news reporting, but which would have at least one conservative editor to contribute items to the Arkansas Blog just like Max does. Ideally the conservative blogger would opine to Max's writings, and Max would opine to the conservative blogger's writings, with the ton of paying readers I believe you would soon have, chiming in. Real debate and lively conversation will increase your readership. In summary, I think you're setting the Times up to wilt away, but what I think about it will have no bearing on what actually happens. In all sincerity, I wish you guys the best, and I hope you have loads of people subscribe.
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