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The Times of London Offers Subsidised Tablet

December 6, 2012

nexus7OK, it’s not quite the newspaper launching its own fully-branded device (a prediction I made back in August 2011), but the news that The Times of London is offering a heavily-subsidised a 32GB Asus Nexus 7 as part of its subscription package is a giant step in that direction. (see Times of London offers $80 Nexus 7 to new digital subscribers)

At US$80, it represents a discount of 75% on the tablet’s street price – and, all of a sudden, you can imagine media executives around the world thinking, “if the Times can discount that heavily, how can we give the device away for free?”.

Phone companies ‘give away’ the device all the time – it’s just coming up with the subscription pricing model that works – by either locking subscribers in to a long-term contract, or bundling a number of different publications together.

Also, if the tablet is becoming increasingly commoditised (the Aakash, for example), one of the considerations in the decision as to which device to “buy” will be the content available or accessible on that device.

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