What are you paying for?

Phil Plantier

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Mar 7, 2002
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I'm moving back to the Boston area, so I wanted to subscribe to the Globe. The digital rate for the Globe is apparently $360/year?! I'm not paying that.

This leads me to ask a larger question: what sports journalism do you pay for? Do you pay for the Globe? Do you subscribe to Sirius? Do you do the Athletic? Support anyone on Patreon? Get your sports news from ESPN like it's 1993? Why or why not?

Locally, I subscribe to the Boston Sports Journal, still getting my $25/yr student discount. I will probably re-up for $35/yr.

Nationally, I subscribe to the Washington Post ($4/mo) and the Wall Street Journal (free for my school), and get some decent sports reporting there.

That's it, thanks to podcasts. I think about supporting Joe Posnanski (just increased to $60/yr), but haven't pulled the trigger.

How about you? Any bargains out there that I/we should be signing up for?
 

DJnVa

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Dec 16, 2010
41,539
The Athletic and I did the $1 digital subscription deal to the Globe for sports.
 

IdiotKicker

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Nov 21, 2005
5,475
Somerville, MA
So I did a 1-week trial of The Athletic during the Cup Finals and then cancelled because I didn't want to pay $50 per year. Over the next two weeks, I got an offer of 30% off, 50% off, and finally 70% off. So I'm paying $15 a year for The Athletic, which feels fantastic. Not sure if those kinds of discounts are always offered after the trial, but it's worth trying.
 

luckiestman

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Jul 15, 2005
16,802
I thought this was in a different forum and was getting ready to let it all hang out.

I get WSJ delivered to my house. Got espn mag for a while because it was cheap. Podcasts fill whatever I used to read.
 

Gorton Fisherman

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May 26, 2002
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BSJ, The Athletic, New York Times (digital), Washington Post (digital). I've also had the New Yorker for some stretches when they offered a very large discount.

I've found that if you play the game right you can usually get really good discounts on digital subscriptions. One of the keys of course is making sure you turn off the auto-renewal "feature" that all these things have and wait until your initial discount/subscription expires, at which point you'll usually get the 'good deal' offered to you again. I've done this successfully with the NYT and WaPo. On The Athletic I neglected to turn off auto-renew, and they quietly dinged me for a full-price renewal after the first year (a-holes). You really gotta be diligent about the auto-renewal thing, which is a quasi-sleazy business practice IMO.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Bi-Coastal, for the time being
1. Sirius in two different cars
2. ESPN+, which includes ESPN Insider and ESPN Magazine digital subscription (not that I can remember the last time I read it)
3. Got a $2/one year subscription to Sports Illustrated. Enjoy it way more than I had expected, but won’t renew when it goes full price.
4. Got the New York Times digitally as a cheap add-on to my Spotify and also really happy to have it.
5. MLB At Bat

I had subscribed to Patreon for Joe Posnanski but dropped it after 3-4 months.

Would love the Athletic but can’t bring myself to pull the trigger. Maybe stick it on my Secret Santa list.

Edit: Forgot about MLB At Bat, but I get a shit ton of value out of that as I don't live in the Boston DMA.
 
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ElcaballitoMVP

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Nov 19, 2008
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I don't think I pay for anything, I just wait for you rich folk to post about it here. And I really don't feel like I'm missing out on much.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
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Sep 27, 2016
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Are we broadening this to any journalism? I subscribe to the Economist, WSJ Digital (got a huge discount), NY Times digital, and a couple Patreon things (most of them less news-y like WaitButWhy or BadassOfTheWeek). I've wanted to do The Athletic for a while, they haven't met me with an offer that I wanted to pay, but my willingness to pay is definitely non-zero.

My favorite free daily sassy tech email has a weekly paid in-depth industry report called Trends, but they ask way too much for it and I didn't see the value.
 

B H Kim

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Oct 24, 2003
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The Athletic is totally worth whatever they are charging these days. I'll gladly pay full price. It is fantastic and needs to be supported.
I really doubt that the Athletic’s business model is sustainable, but it really is by far and away the best national (and in many markets, the best local) online source for sports news.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Apr 12, 2001
20,557
I had subscribed to Patreon for Joe Posnanski but dropped it after 3-4 months.
I'm curious as to why you did this. The reason why I ask is because I was considering dropping the cash to subscribe, but once I really thought about it, there are only a few Pos articles that I look forward to (one being his annual review of every new player on the HoF ballot) and I just don't care about his detours into his family life. I read "Katie the Prefect" and I thought it was good, but I don't need to read parts 56-72. And I'm also sorta sick of following him as he bounces from one place to another.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Aug 1, 2001
13,810
The Glob digital subscription is ridiculously overpriced, and they intentionally make it hard to unsub-- you can sign up for it online but you have to call and wait on hold to unsub. Their model seems to be a lot more like that of a cable company than like their competitors.

The price for a Glob digital sub is $28 per month, which is significantly more than what we pay for the Washington Post, The Athletic, and the New York Times digital subs combined. There's no way they should be charging more than like $10 per month.

The Glob is apparently too stupid to realize that digital subs are not like print-- every new digital subscriber brings them in more revenue while adding zero production costs. 1000 people paying $10 a month makes a lot more money than 100 people paying $30 a month, while also giving their stories, their ads and their influence 10 times more reach, while the production costs are the same.

I see they have an introductory offer right now for a dollar a month for 6 months, so we will probably sign up for that, and then when it goes back up to the full price, call in and sit on hold to unsub again.

We subscribe digitally to the NY Times (Usually $10 per month but we got a deal where we paid for a year for $1 per month) Washington Post ($4 per month with Prime) and The Athletic ($3 per month when you pay $36 for the full year). And the digital version of the New Yorker (which the spouse pays for so I don't know how much that one is.)

Here's a recent article on The Athletic that was worth the month's subscription fee all by itself: The oral history of the game where Varitek smacked Arod in the face with his mitt:

We also pay $6 per month to support to the Guardian, and $5 per month to be PBS members and get all their streaming programs. We pay for Netflix, Youtube TV, Amazon Prime, and Spotify. I am a Patreon member of the Best Show podcast.

So that's a lot of money for digital subscriptions, but then again we are getting tons of content of all kinds, and don't pay for cable anymore, and save about $50 per month right there. Until a couple years ago, we used to get the paper version of the Glob every day, so dropping that saved a bunch too.

I'm really happy with what we get for the money we spend.
 

Dick Pole Upside

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Feb 6, 2003
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39.932N, -85.848W
  1. Globe
  2. BSJ
  3. Athletic
  4. SoxProspects (donation to support)
  5. SiriusXM

Spittin' Chiclets supplements any hockey coverage from the above. I occasionally watch the NBCSports app for other events of interest (e.g. EPL, TdF).

I use the News app on my iPhones to backdoor any NYT, WaPo, and WSJ articles I'm interested in...
 

bosockboy

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Jul 15, 2005
11,857
St. Louis, MO
The Athletic
ESPN+
SiriusXM
MLB At Bat (April-September)

Outside of sports Apple Music, Hulu Live TV and Netflix comped via T Mobile.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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I'm curious as to why you did this. The reason why I ask is because I was considering dropping the cash to subscribe, but once I really thought about it, there are only a few Pos articles that I look forward to (one being his annual review of every new player on the HoF ballot) and I just don't care about his detours into his family life. I read "Katie the Prefect" and I thought it was good, but I don't need to read parts 56-72. And I'm also sorta sick of following him as he bounces from one place to another.
I love the Poscast, and the main reason I was motivated to subscribe to Patreon was additional content for those. But soon enough Ken Tremendous stopped being a Poscast regular (which brought a lot of the value for me) and the additional content wasn't compelling enough for my $3/month (or whatever). I do enjoy the Poscast with KT or guests, but the regular version suffices for me. Guess I'm a freeloader.

I have been getting regular emails with Posnanski columns the last few weeks which I really enjoy. Guessing this is an interim series of freebies while he's getting his pay site together. But I doubt I'll pay to subscribe if it goes back behind a paywall, at least not until my inheritance from Thurston Howell III comes through.
 

8slim

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Nov 6, 2001
14,735
Unreal America
Sports:
Boston Sports Journal
The Athletic

I pay $36 for BSJ and $60 for The Athletic, annually. Less than $100 for gobs of very well-written content is a bargain.

Non-Sports "News":
NY Times
WaPo (via Amazon Prime)
Spotify (news = podcasts)
Sirius XM (news = radio)
 

johnmd20

figuratively like ebola
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Dec 30, 2003
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Newpapers: NY Times delivery, plus digital. Washington Post digital.
Magazines: The New Yorker, digital. Print: The Economist, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, New York Magazine, wife subscribes to Vanity Fair, too

Streaming: Sirius Satellite Radio, MLB.tv, NBCGold, and basically every one of the TV/movie apps.
 

brs3

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May 20, 2008
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I've been a subscriber to the Atlantic since the start, and got deep discounts the first time and for the renewal. I think that's key, just wait for the discount. I love the emailed summary for Sox/MLB articles. I also have been a subscriber to Posnanski's blog since the beginning, so I have a little cheaper cost per year. I tend to binge his content since each post is emailed. So I might spend a half hour reading 4-5 articles that have piled up. I also subscribe to Sox Lunch, which is free and is a great quick summary daily email about the Sox most recent game, and includes a few links in each email. Those three satisfy my daily need for sports.

I subscribe to Politico's daily MA & NYC email blasts, and skim them most days, but they're great when there's a big event. It's free, so hard to go wrong. I also subscribe to the NY Time daily briefing, which is great and also key if there's a big event that I miss entirely.

In total I'm receiving 6 daily emails, but I have an hour commute each way, so it works out pretty well for me.
 

Joe Sixpack

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Sep 9, 2002
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Canton, MA
Most of what I have overlaps with what others have put down above, but I wanted to mention I just became a Patreon supporter of Opening Arguments podcast (had my name mispronounced on episode 299).

I think someone else here mentioned it at one point. It's an incredible value and I learn a ton from it. It's easily my favorite "serious" podcast.
 

Rich Garces Belly

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Jun 14, 2009
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I looove this topic and am going to expand on it:

The athletic
Boston Globe Online
Hulu Plus
Butcher Box
Stitch Fix
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Jun 26, 2006
8,796
The Athletic is totally worth whatever they are charging these days. I'll gladly pay full price. It is fantastic and needs to be supported.
I agree. I'm happy to pay the Athletic fee. I also get the Sunday Press Herald - which comes with digital. I have a kid in high school and like the high school sports coverage.
 

Phil Plantier

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Mar 7, 2002
2,679
The Glob digital subscription is ridiculously overpriced, and they intentionally make it hard to unsub-- you can sign up for it online but you have to call and wait on hold to unsub. Their model seems to be a lot more like that of a cable company than like their competitors.
I had forgotten, but this is also the process to cancel NYT, which still makes me angry. No reason for this other than to annoy a person into not cancelling.

As enraging as Sling splitting ESPN and Fox Sports into different tiers.
 

Bowhemian

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Nov 10, 2015
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Bow, NH
I have a long commute, so I subscribe to SiriusXM, that's about all I pay for.
SXM used to charge extra to listen online or through their app. They no longer charge for it. Which is a beautiful thing for me. My Caddy has the SXM subscription, but not my Silverado. Now when I drive the Silverado, I can still listen to SXM. Loving it!
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Jun 26, 2006
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I had forgotten, but this is also the process to cancel NYT, which still makes me angry. No reason for this other than to annoy a person into not cancelling.

As enraging as Sling splitting ESPN and Fox Sports into different tiers.
I just cancelled the WSJ, and it was the same thing: Sign up online, but you can only cancel by calling. So I call and the guy does everything possible to try to talk me out of it. Finally, I just said, "dude, I'm trying to be polite here, but can you just process the fucking cancellation now?"
 

The Social Chair

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Feb 17, 2010
3,875
Journalism
LA Times
NY Times (free digital sub with LA county library card)
Athletic

Audio
Spotify

Video
Netflix
Hulu
NFL Sunday Ticket (wife is in grad school so we get student discount)
MLB (free with tmobile)
NBA league pass
 

OurF'ingCity

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Apr 22, 2016
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Also if we are expanding this topic to cover all forms of media, this is what I got:

Journalism - nothing except a New Yorker subscription I got as a gift (NYMag continues to be delivered to my apartment as well despite my having stopped paying for it seemingly years ago). I find I am perfectly satisfied with free sources for both news and sports. I experimented with Apple News+ during the free trial but, like Apple Music, the layout/organization was really poor and I didn't find myself using the non-free features nearly enough.

Audio - Spotify Premium. (I'm also a Patreon subscriber to a few podcasts I used to listen to religiously that I really don't listen to anymore but still want to support.)

Video - I am something of a movie buff (and TV to a lesser extent) so this is where most of my subscriptions are. I have YTTV, Netflix, HBO Now and the Criterion Channel (and Amazon Prime if we're counting that), plus my girlfriend's Hulu subscription (we became spoiled with the ad-free version so kept that even though we could have the ad-supported version free with the Spotify sub). For sports I have MLB.tv, although I may dump that next year because I honestly and somewhat depressingly don't find myself with enough time to watch many Red Sox games these days, and I may pick up the NBA's "Team Pass" for the Celtics (if that's something they still offer) because I'm pretty into the C's this year. I'd also probably pay for NFL RedZone as a YTTV add-on if that were an option, but it's not and I don't care enough about RedZone for that to be the reason I switch from YTTV to, say, PlayStation Vue or whatever.
 

donutogre

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Jul 20, 2005
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Philadelphia
Interesting thread. I don't doubt that insane number quoted for the Globe online, but I do doubt that there isn't a way around it... there has to be some kind of deal out there, because I pay far less for digital subs to the NY Times and Washington Post.

I think those are the only two journalistic entities I'm currently paying for. I have other entertainment subscriptions (Hulu, Netflix, Spotify, PlayStation Plus, off the top of my head).

I'm surprised there aren't more. But I get access to a lot of publications via my current job, so maybe if I didn't have those I would pay for more.
 

axx

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Jul 16, 2005
6,684
Such consumer whores! Shit, I don't even have cable.

There's plenty of free resources on the Internet to keep up to date on what's going on in sports, you certainly don't need a dead tree rag for that. I'm not a fan of Reddit's discussion method, but the sports subreddits do post plenty of highlights, news and random stuff.
 

PC Drunken Friar

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Sep 12, 2003
11,121
South Boston
Such consumer whores! Shit, I don't even have cable.

There's plenty of free resources on the Internet to keep up to date on what's going on in sports, you certainly don't need a dead tree rag for that. I'm not a fan of Reddit's discussion method, but the sports subreddits do post plenty of highlights, news and random stuff.
Just curious... What or when was the last piece or time you paid for some music?