You'll have noticed I've been on something of a hiatus recently. And Candy Crush  - the top grossing app on itunes - isn't the only reason - but my current 'habit' has got me thinking.

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, it is a highly addictive Tetris-type game, which you can download to your phone/tablet/computer for nothing. "So how come it is the highest grossing app out there?" I hear you ask.

Well. When you fail to complete a level you're given the option to pay a small fee for a few extra moves. It looks a little something like this...

So... as well as wasting my redundancy cash on games aimed at eight year olds, I like reading the latest news online  - usually via twitter. 

There's a big range of how much content you can access for free out there. The Wall Street Journal has a certain amount of articles each day which are free - for those not on the 'gratis' list you have to subscribe.  The Guardian gives you it all for nothing.  The Herald lets you read a certain amount of stories a month before you have to take up one of their subscription offers. 

The Herald's online subscription offers are detailed below and as you'll see, to read on your iphone you're looking at £3.99 per month. It's not pictured here, but a Kindle subscription is £9.99 a month
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Herald subscription options
Now what I've been pondering tonight is whether papers need to think more like Candy Crush and only charge people for what they actually want. I don't sign up for subscriptions because a) they feel quite pricey and b) I know I can probably find the content elsewhere for nothing. I also hate that 'gym membership' feeling of paying for something that I then don't use. That's always annoying when your bank statement comes in.

But, say The Herald started asking for 20p to read each extra article - rather than asking for a monthly subscription? They might  (if they drew me in enough with quality writing) get more money out of me than £3.99 per month and they would certainly get more out of me than they do at the moment.

So this is a genuine question - why don't papers offer this option? They're all on twitter highlighting individual stories, but not letting me buy individual stories. Surely it makes sense to allow the impulse buy in journalism? The equivalent of the Twix by the checkout in the supermarket? It might get me off Candy Crush and doing something more interesting instead.....
 


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