NYT open to online subscription cancellation option

The New York Times said it could introduce an online subscription cancellation option next year, after the US Federal Trade Commission said it intends to crack down on practices which make it hard for consumers to exit subscription products.

NYT open to online subscription cancellation option
Photograph: Marco Lenti on Unsplash.

“Once tested thoughtfully, we plan to roll out the ability to cancel online to all digital subscribers across our suite of products,” said Linda Zebian, a spokesperson for The New York Times, speaking to Nieman Lab. Whilst remaining vague about the timing, she suggested that it could happen “next year.”

It is not just the New York Times, however, who are introducing online subscription cancellation options. Karl Wells, chief subscriptions officer at Dow Jones, mentioned that Barron’s, MarketWatch, and WSJ Student subscribers can already cancel online.

Wells, speaking to Nieman Lab, said: “At Dow Jones, we approach everything we do with the customer in mind. With multiple consumer brands in our portfolio, we pride ourselves on developing strong connections with our subscribers in order to better serve and engage with them.”

Michael Ribero, chief subscriptions officer at The Washington Post, also speaking to Nieman Lab, said: “An easy, seamless experience forms good relationships with customers, which is why we offer several ways for a reader to unsubscribe, including through a link on their Washington Post account page.”

Ribero said. “Our hope is that if we provide a good offboarding experience, we will have a better opportunity to win back those subscribers in the long run.”

Similarly, The Minneapolis Star Tribune’s chief marketing officer Steve Yaeger, referring to online subscription cancellation options, said: “If it’s good for our customers, it’s going to be good for our business.”

He added, “It doesn’t mean that it might not lead to a higher rate of cancellations or whatnot but I think over the long run, making things easy and convenient for customers is good for business.”

Keep up-to-date with publishing news: sign up here for InPubWeekly, our free weekly e-newsletter.