Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Keller said there were 200K TimesSelect subscribers, but a Times spokeswoman later had to set the record straight that the number includes those who get it free as a a part of their print subscription.

I don't know how to disaggregate the print subscribers from the TimesSelect $49.95-ers, but I would guess the $49.95-ers are but a small fraction of the 200K.

I base this on my own reading habits when I did subscribe to the print edition. I would read the paper on the 45 minute commute to work and always started with the Sports section followed by various front page articles in the different sections with the crossword saved for the 11-minute race from 125th to Grand Central. I never had time to finish the op-ed page, so I'd read those articles of interests at work. (Never Dowd, though. My distaste pre-dates her Bushist raving.)

As those op-eds are now behind the subscriber wall, I'd have signed-up for TimesSelect to finish. If my reading habits approximate those of a significant number of other print subscribers, then a good portion of those 200,000 TimesSelect subscribers will be print subscribers who had to finish-up the day's "paper of record" on during thier various periods of down time during the work day.

The actual number of TimesSelect $49.95-ers is hard to pnpoint. Maybe the paper should investigate how a publicly-traded company hides the performance of its most ambitious business strategy to date? Yeah, right after the Judith Miller expose!

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