Tuesday, August 4, 2020

SUBSCRIPTIONS

Moab, UT

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Moab
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    The T-I is increasing prices to maintain pace of production

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    The Times-Independent Editorial Board
    Editorials published by The Times-Independent Editorial Board are the collaborative product of the newspaper's management team, including the owners and editorial team.
    The Times-Independent newspaper press sits idle on a Thursday afternoon as Publisher Zane Taylor works to fulfill a print order. Zane, alongside his siblings and co-owners of The T-I Sena Taylor Hauer and Tom Taylor, have decided to increase the price of the newspaper and extend subscription offerings to include a digital edition. Photo by Carter Pape

    As many readers have noticed, we updated our website in March to make it easy for readers to access our news, photos, opinion pieces and more online. At that time, we also began reinvigorating our presence on social media to make it easy for subscribers to stay up to date with Moab news on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

    Since then, we have received a great deal of positive feedback about our online presence along with helpful tips from readers about what they want improved. We’ve tried to provide a good experience both in print and on the website. Now, we must ask a favor from our subscribers.

    Staying affordable and sustainable

    For years, The Times-Independent has maintained a status of being uniquely affordable among newspapers in the United States. Being family owned is a huge reason we are able to do this; without the need to support a parent corporation, our annual subscription price of $32 for locals, plus ad revenue, has been enough to sustain our modest staff.

    Times, however, have changed. Inflation has driven up prices all around us, and the cost of living has increased in Moab. Digital media giants have also soaked up much of the spending on advertising.

    Despite all of this change and the need to increase our prices, we are committed to staying affordable. For this reason, we are increasing the price of print subscriptions to $36 annually for in-town subscribers.

    We are also implementing a digital subscription. Anybody who wants to access our digital content can do so for $1 per week. Digital subscribers will be automatically billed $4 every four weeks, with the ability to cancel anytime. For locals, digital subscriptions will include, at no additional cost, our print edition.

    Editor Sena Taylor Hauer designs and lays out the pages of the June 6 edition while her dog Bud naps. Photo by Carter Pape

    These changes will take effect in July, when the price of buying a newspaper off the newsstand will also go up, from 75 cents to $1. This will be the first change to the price of a copy of The Times-Independent in over 15 years.

    What is included with a subscription

    We publish all of our articles, obituaries, death notices, letters to the editor and more on our website. A comprehensive text archive of articles dating back to 2004 is available on our website as well, and we are cooking up ideas for expanding our online offerings in the future.

    Right now, access to all of that content is free. As part of implementing our new digital subscriptions, access to our website will be limited, except for digital subscribers, who will have unlimited access.

    Articles and other content on our website will become freely accessible 28 days after it is published online. People without subscriptions will be able to read no more than three recent articles per month.

    As previously mentioned, if you live in Grand County, San Juan County or the town of Green River and you purchase a digital subscription, you may have the print edition delivered to you by post at no extra cost.

    This means that, for locals, a digital subscription includes both online access and, if you want it, weekly newspaper delivery. In-town subscribers who only want to receive our print edition can do so at the price of $36 annually.

    Out-of-town print subscriptions

    Circulation Manager Tom Taylor oversees subscriptions and mailing for The T-I, which sends print editions to all but six states in The Union. Photo by Carter Pape

    Current out-of-town subscribers (i.e. subscribers who do not live in Grand, San Juan or Green River) who, at the time of their renewal, want to continue receiving mailed copies of the physical newspaper in lieu of digital access must cover the cost of shipping, which varies among delivery destinations.

    Alternatively, out-of-town subscribers can switch over to a digital subscription for $1 per week and get access to all of our content without needing to wait for the paper to arrive in the mail.

    How we chose the new prices

    Local subscriptionsOut-of-town subscriptions
    Print plus digital:
    $4 per four weeks*
    Digital only:
    $4 per four weeks*
    Print only:
    $36 annually
    Print only:
    $49 annually

    * Qualifies for automatic, recurring payments

    According to a 2018 study by the American Press Institute, the median price of a monthly subscription for newspapers in the United States is $10. Compare that to the $4 we will begin charging for digital subscriptions every four weeks, or $36 every 12 months for print-only subscriptions in-town.

    According to the same study, both of these new subscriptions are priced competitively; our new digital subscription will cost less than about 90% of newspapers in the country.

    Part of the reason we want to remain affordable is pride. We are an historied institution, and affordability is a key part of what we have always offered.

    Another reason to keep prices low is the economic reality of living in Moab. The median income in Moab is among the lowest in the state, according to U.S. Census data.

    It should not break the bank to understand the world around you, which is why we want to continue serving our readers with independent reporting at a rate that is affordable for both locals and others interested in the news from our little corner of the world.

    Note: This page was edited to specify the new pricing of out-of-town mailing subscriptions.

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