Education

Reader Reactions to Edweek.org’s Premium Subscription Plan

July 29, 2005 4 min read

I won’t pay.

I can’t afford it.

I might pay if the price is right.

You’re making a mistake.

I’m sorry I won’t be able to read all your great content online anymore.

Reactions to the fact that edweek.org soon will charge a fee for online premium content span the spectrum from those who think we’re nuts to those who think we’re doing what we have to.Naturally, a lot of the comments related to price:

· I’ve been frequenting this site for a while and I’ve found its articles to be very informative. Although I have never, ever joined a site that requires a pay subscription, I may consider it for edweek.org, as long as the price is reasonable for me.

· As a parent who is involved with an often failing educational system I have enjoyed staying up to date with what is working and what teachers are encountering. I will miss your weekly updates but would never pay for them. Sounds like most everyone will loose out... Sorry to see you following this failed business model.

· … they have to go to some sort of a subscription site or else the Education Week Magazine will not exist anymore.

· I just recently accessed EdWeek.org and am sorry to find out it won’t be free anymore, but totally understand the rationale behind the decision to switch to subscription. I’ll probably subscribe to on-line only.

Several of our readers have suggested that a reasonable price for an online-only subscription is $29.95, compared to our price of $69.94.

· I have access to the print version at no expense to myself, but prefer to read your content online. I understand Education Week’s need to sustain itself financially and want it to do so. So I would pay for access to online content, but I agree with the others who think $69 is over the top. I think $29.95 is more reasonable, and more competitive.

· I am an assistant principal. I read the online version often. I agree that $69.0 is a lot and by the way, I don’t have access to purchase orders.

But not everyone thought that $69 is out of line:

· I think the price of $69 per year is a great price even for the online version. EdWeek is by far the most comprehensive ed publication out there. For those people who value their work in public education an annual price of $69 is not asking too much. You get a lot more in return in the way of knowledge that would be useful to run your schools and programs better.

We’ve had several requests for Education Week newspaper subscribers to get free online access, which we are providing.

· … please, keep your policy of letting those subscribers to your printed version also have access to the online version.

We also are selling site licenses with which schools or school districts, for example, could purchase access for multiple uses, up to at least 500.

Several comments have made us think about offering additional pricing options:

· I have been a long time subscriber to EW; at least 15 years. Despite the fact that I am an administrator, I have always paid for my own subscription, because I wanted my own, on time news about what was happening in education without having to wait for someone else to finish reading it first. I am retiring from education at the end of this month and will, most assuredly continue my subscription. Print is more important to me than an on-line copy, although the latter has provided a quick read when I needed it. Your scale makes sense - what no discount for “retirees?” Go for it!

· Do consider a greatly reduced fee subscription for retirees. My pension and part-time work income are stretched far enough now.

Here’s a summary of our current pricing plans:

Print + online (annual) -- readers that wish to receive Education Week in print will also have full access to edweek.org. $79.94 per year.

Online only (annual) -- for readers that only want access to edweek.org and do not want a print subscription to Education Week. $69.94 per year.

Online only (monthly)-- for readers that would like month-to-month access to edweek.org. $9.94 per month.

· The state of public education is in crisis and I strongly feel that keeping Ed Week free is the right thing to do in order to balance out so many ugly things happening to our schools. Everyone has the right to informed and intelligent education news. One day, these little things may add up to a major thing and perhaps it may even wake up the sleeping giant. John Dewey, where are you when we need you?

If we could financially keep edweek.org free, we would, because our mission is to help advance and improve K-12 education. As we’ve said before, we have come to the conclusion that the best way to continue meeting this mission in the years ahead is to have a more financially solid footing. Nonetheless, a lot of our site will continue to be free to registered users.

Our entire Teacher Magazine site will be free, as will the main page of our Research Center and our Agent K-12 job recruitment site. Registered users also will be able to read two premium articles free each week.

As always, we welcome comments and observations.

Gary Kebbel
Interim Executive Producer

A version of this news article first appeared in the Behind the Scenes blog.