Rex Parker Does the NYT Crossword Puzzle is angry!
For anyone who has ever doubted the extraordinary monetary value of the xword puzzle to the NYT, behold this new development: “Starting July 9, Home Delivery Subscribers will no longer have free access to NYTimes.com Premium Crosswords. You can, however, continue to access Premium Crosswords by subscribing at a special low rate being offered only to Times subscribers.”
So people who Already Subscribe to the NYT (and get the puzzle in their paper) can have access to the Entire paper at the Times website … except the puzzle. And yet constructor still gets a preposterously low $200 for a daily puzzle. Can you imagine what the Real Value of the puzzle is to the NYT? In terms of online subscriptions, paper subscriptions (which would Plummet w/o the puzzle), reprints, etc.??? This is a question I want answered: what is the puzzle worth, in annual dollar income terms, to the NYT? Because they have surely calculated this, and my guess is it’s way way Way higher than anyone knows or would even believe.
One of Rex’s commenters posted this email from the Times:
“In a recent review of the benefits that we provide to home delivery subscribers we made a determination that the Premium Crosswords product is more appropriately treated like Wine Club, Film Club and other products for which we provide discounts to our subscribers. We continue to offer home delivery subscribers free All Digital Access enabling them to enjoy access to The Times via nytimes.com and our apps for tablets and smartphones.”
A Times spokeswoman confirms the change and notes that “we’re offering a 50% discount to subscribers.”