The Technium: Free Kindle This November

This reminded me of this article from the London Review of Books by John Lanchester, about newspapers:…

It includes this paragraph:

“If newspapers switched over to being all online, the cost base would be instantly and permanently transformed. The OECD report puts the cost of printing a typical paper at 28 per cent and the cost of sales and distribution at 24 per cent: so the physical being of the paper absorbs 52 per cent of all costs. (Administration costs another 8 per cent and advertising another 16.) That figure may well be conservative. A persuasive looking analysis in the Business Insider put the cost of printing and distributing the New York Times at $644 million, and then added this: ‘a source with knowledge of the real numbers tells us we’re so low in our estimate of the Times’s printing costs that we’re not even in the ballpark.’ Taking the lower figure, that means that New York Times, if it stopped printing a physical edition of the paper, could afford to give every subscriber a free Kindle. Not the bog-standard Kindle, but the one with free global data access. And not just one Kindle, but four Kindles. And not just once, but every year. And that’s using the low estimate for the costs of printing.”

If Kindles were free that’d be an even more dramatic comparison…

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26 Feb 2011 at Twitter

  • 7:39pm: Answering frequently asked questions.
  • 4:36pm: @infovore Ouch. Sending Joyent server get well wishes from georgia and butte.
  • 1:45pm: 1.45pm on Saturday and I haven’t yet achieved, relaxed, or attended that conference in Berlin. I can fix one of the first two. Hopefully.

26 Feb 2011 in Links