Raising prices and gaining readers  APR 22 2009

Feeling undervalued, some magazines are raising their prices and gaining both readership and revenue.

The Economist is leading the charge on expensive subscriptions, and its success is one reason publishers are rethinking their approaches. It is a news magazine with an extraordinarily high cover price -- raised to $6.99 late last year -- and subscription price, about $100 a year on average.

Even though The Economist is relatively expensive, its circulation has increased sharply in the last four years. Subscriptions are up 60 percent since 2004, and newsstand sales have risen 50 percent, according to the audit bureau.

I'm always amazed that something as great as The New Yorker can be had for a buck an issue when people routinely pay $4 for burnt coffee, $10 for crappy movies, and $12 for -tini drinks.

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