Pricing the Weekend Edition

The Sunday edition of the print version of The Times is priced $6,  3 times the price of daily edition. But the Sunday edition comes packed with many extras. According to Ad it would take someone the whole day to finish it. The Sunday edition is actually a type of bundling that combined many different specialized offerings that are valued differently by different segments. Note that even weekday edition of newspaper pricing follows bundled pricing model (See for more on bundling).

But I saw a different case of weekend edition pricing for business newspapers in India (The Economic Times, Business Standard, The Financial Express).  The weekend editions are actually much thinner and sparser than the weekday editions and priced almost twice the weekday editions. The regular newsstand that I bought the weekday edition did not even carry them. The news vendor said there aren’t many buyers for the weekend edition because it was priced  so high. The vendor at the other newsstand I walked to said he carries fewer copies than the weekday edition.

So why is the weekend edition that carries fewer stories (and fewer Ads) priced higher and sold fewer copies? This is just another case of effective pricing.

Fewer people bought the weekend edition than the weekday edition. Due to fewer readers the advertisers weren’t willing to buy Ads for on the weekend edition and hence the newspapers are also losing Ad revenue. But those who bought the weekend edition valued the paper more and hence were willing to pay more. The price is simply set to sell just to these high value customers and maximize profit.

If we were to dig deeper the Ad prices would also be higher for the weekend edition, despite fewer copies sold because of the targeted reach.

That’s effective pricing.