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Saturday 18 October 2003

Synergy, The Wrong Way

So in the course of my daily rummaging, I come across this article, and want to read it. Trouble is, it’s from Time magazine a few months ago, which means it’s been moved into the archives.

To read a story in the archives costs you “as little as” $2.50, or about what the whole magazine costs each week. No, thanks.

If you’re a Time magazine subscriber — which I’m not — you get access to the last 52 weeks of articles, and discounts on access to older parts of the archive. Aha, I think.

I have an AOL account, and AOL is, remember the company that bought Time magazine and its parent company, lock, stock, and barrel, a few years ago. And my AOL account is not just any AOL account, but a super-VIP AOL account that comes with unlimited use of everything and with no charges, ever.

So I fire up AOL and paste in the URL. They still want $2.50 from me. If I subscribed to Time for $29.95 a year, I’d have access. But since I subscribe to AOL, for what would ordinarily be not much less than that per month, they still want more.

Now, of course, AOL and its media properties are free to charge anything they’d like for their information, and they’re under no obligation to give freebies to AOL subscribers. They are, however, obligated to attempt to make as much money as possible for their shareholders.

And they’re doing this how? By reducing the value of their $24/month product in order to increase the value of their $29/year product.

Posted by tino at 17:07 18.10.03
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They wanted $2.50 for this article?!?! Wow those 592 words are pretty valuable. If I actually paid the $2.50 I’d feel VERY ripped off.

Posted by: Paul Johnson at October 19, 2003 03:43 PM