The Times published an analysis piece over the weekend by business news editor Emily Ford, titled “Why I’m not paying” (you’ll need a subscription to read the article). It’s a short one, but explains succinctly why Emily felt, after a year of paying for Spotify, she prefers the free version.
Despite getting rid of annoying ads, Emily felt syncing music to her mobile had become too much hassle and listening over the web for free is satisfactory. It doesn’t explain what Emily now does for mobile listening. You’d guess good old fashioned downloads or even CD ripping, but then you still have to deal with the hassle of uploading new purchases to your mobile or MP3 player.
Anyhow, Emily finishes her piece with the statement “when you can get something so good for free, why pay?” Any interesting point for a journalist on The Times, the paper with by far the highest and thickest paywall, to make. As Paid Content points out, her subs might have been more than a little surprised when this particular piece of copy crossed their desks.
You can’t compare The Times and Spotify like-for-like, The Times’ subscription model takes an ‘all or nothing’ approach. You don’t get anything for free, not even the by-line. However, both companies have similar goals for their paid content models – getting punters to pay for premium, quality content over free options or stealing it from the Interwebs.
Even with these refined, thought-out offerings, it seems not everyone can be convinced of the value of digital content.