This hit my inbox a few days ago:

“In order to continue to create the kind of high-quality, reliable news report you expect from The Inquirer, we must increase the price of subscriptions. Effective your next renewal date, your renewal charge will be $21.96, equivalent to $5.49 per week. This will ensure that you will continue to receive the in-depth and award-winning coverage that you currently enjoy.”

I’m currently pinged for $15.96 per month, which amounts to $3.99 per week. So this will be an increase of $1.50 per seven days. This is the digital subscription only, so no physical paper. I’d assume this is probably an across-the-board increase for folks on the digital plan who saw their promotional sign up bonus come to an end (but will confirm).

Six dollars a month is not going to break the bank, but the problem is that paywalled journalism amounts to an ala carte expense for 99.9% of Americans. It’s seen as a non-necessity, unfortunately, especially when there are plenty of free sites out there that provide comparable news and sports information. When you take the Inquirer or whatever your local paper is, you inevitably compare and contrast ala carte expenses and look for value.

In my case, I’m paying per month:

  • $15.96 for the Inquirer (soon to be $21.96)
  • $16.39 for the Disney/ESPN/Hulu bundle
  • $7.41 for Apple TV + (plus the one-time fee for the MLS Season Pass)
  • $5.29 for Peacock
  • $2.00 for The Athletic (no clue how this happened, it used to be $6.99 a month)
  • $0 for Max (we get it through our phone provider)

You see what I’m saying? There are questions to be asked. Does one get the same value out of the Inquirer ($263 per year now) as they would from the Disney/ESPN/Hulu bundle ($196)? How about getting Apple TV + Peacock for less than a monthly Inquirer subscription? These ala carte offerings start to add up, and when you combine them with ridiculous grocery bills, childcare, gas, PECO, wifi, and whatever other monthly stuff people are paying for, when trimming needs to happen, the non-essential stuff is the first to go.