As many of you may know, the Orange County Register is no longer available online to casual web browsers. You have to be a subscriber to read their online articles. They deleted their smart phone application and are not available on the Kindle.
So what are your options? Well, you could buy a digital only subscription, but that will cost you $37.80 every 5 weeks, which comes to a few cents over a dollar a day.
You can get access to the Register online for free if you buy a delivered product. The regular rate is $60.48 for 7 day delivery every 8 weeks, which comes to $1.26 a day. They also have a special offer which is $19.87 every 8 weeks for Thursday – Sunday delivery, which comes to 62 cents per day but this deal does not allow you to read their articles online from Monday through Wednesday.
New subscribers can get a special deal, which is 3 Weeks of 7-day Home Delivery for $1/day, and you will receive an additional week, which comes to 4 weeks for $19.99. Current subscribers can get a deal too, which amounts to $1 extra a week, or $27.87 every 8 weeks, at the same link.
This is all rather awkward if you just want a digital subscription. I don’t have the time to flip through a newspaper, nor the inclination. But since I want daily access to the Register’s website, I am stuck buying a newspaper I will hardly ever open up and read.
It makes no sense to me that the Register would cut themselves off from the rest of the Internet and essentially devalue their websites, but that is what they did. And they have doubled down by bringing back their weekly local newspapers.
It seems that the Register is going to lose out on young readers and anyone else who might have stumbled across their site. But in a way I am glad they did this as it has really boosted the readership of my blogs, as you can read about here. I publish seven blogs now and in April of 2013, they had a combined 47,011 visits and 139,914 page views.
It is, in my humble opinion, a digital world. The Register can shut themselves off from it, as the Byzantine Empire did when they walled themselves off from the world after Rome fell. But the Byzantine Empire fell eventually too, and I believe that is the fate that will one day befall the Register as well.
The Register remains one of Santa Ana’s top employers but I bet that their readership in our city is at an all-time low. They may yet live to regret their decision to erect a paywall, which has been nothing but an inconvenience for all of us.