Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ditch the Paper, Distribute E-Readers?

A sense of things to come:

And then there's the math: From the NYT's financial report, production costs in terms of raw materials and wages/benefits tally around $844 million a year. Carlson has info suggesting the newsroom costs total around $200 million a year, meaning it costs some $644 million to print and distribute the physical newspaper.

The Times reportedly has 830,000 subscribers. A Kindle costs $359. Thus distributing a free Kindle to each subscriber would cost about $298 million.

If the times killed its paper print-run and followed the Kindle-only model, that would leave the newspaper with $346 million in its pocket. Okay, distributing the newspaper electronically in a secure way needs some electronic infrastructure...let's stick a figure of $10 million on that. That still leaves $336 million to spare--a figure not to be sniffed at.


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