Thursday, November 29, 2012

First Look at Newspapers.com

DearREADERS,
Despite a straight-forward name like Newspapers.com, announced a few minutes ago by its parent organization Ancestry.com, several questions come to mind about this new US newspapers website. Most significantly, why would Ancestry spin off a newspaper collection when "newspapers" are a significant part of Ancestry.com's World Deluxe and other membership plans at Ancestry.com? Probable answer: More paying subscribers ($75US annual) and a different "doorway" for folks to find an Ancestry.com property.

Ol' Myrt pays for an $299 annual subscription at the "World" level, which includes both a US Newspaper and UK Newspaper collection.




Source  of screen shot above:
http://www.ancestry.com/subscribe/products/?p=world_deluxe


Access to only the US Newspaper collection at Ancestry.com would run $12.95 monthly or $155.40 annually. So Ancestry values its US Newspaper collection at nearly half the value of it's "World" access. 


Source  of screen shot above: http://www.ancestry.com/subscribe/products/?p=us_news&spotId=4&sub=32768

It would appear from the landing page description at the new Newspapers.com website that the collection is US newspapers, covering the 1700s-2000s (see screen shot below), and it is roughly the same as the description of the US Newspaper Collection at Ancestry.com (per screen shot above).


QUESTIONS REMAIN
Does this mean Ancestry is spinning out its US newspaper collection to the Newspapers.com website? Why would a "World" Ancestry.com subscriber pay an additional $79US for annual access to Newspapers.com? Why wouldn't a US Newspapers Collection subscriber at Ancestry.com jump ship in favor of a similar subscription at Newspapers.com. (Maybe because one could not then link a newspaper article to an ancestor's profile in an Ancestry.com Member Tree.)

ARE US NEWSPAPERS AT ANCESTRY.COM AND NEWSPAPERS.COM THE SAME THING?
It would appear so, though I'd like a line item comparison of the Ancestry.com newspaper collection titles with those at Newspapers.com. Me thinks the 1,000 titles listed at Ancestry.com may include 200 "web" searches, if this listing from the catalog is any indication. (See below.)



SUGGESTIONS
Scenario 1: If the newspapers collections are indeed the same, Ancestry.com should provide free access to its World and US Newspaper Collection subscribers at their new web property Newspapers.com. This affords us a different "skin" or "interface" with which to find ancestors. However, if the search algorithms are the same at both sites, it won't matter, but access would be nice for comparison purposes.

Scenario 2: If Ancestry.com wishes to promote Newspapers.com and will eventually funnel all additions to newspaper collections there, as it appears primed to do, and if Ancestry doesn't add to it's Ancestry.com US Newspaper collection, then our Ancestry.com subscriptions should be reduced by the cost of the annual Newspapers.com subscriptions so that we may subscribe there.

SIDE COMMENTS
I think it's all about the number of paid subscribers. If Ancestry.com can spin off parts and require membership, then it is the "owner" of more subscriber sites, even though many of those subscribers are duplicates. Why not just KISS and make it Ancestry.com period?

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
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6 comments:

  1. Ancestry has already shown its backside to subscribers with the Fold3.com "Military Records." An additional subscribers fee is required for Fold3, just as will be required at Newspapers.com. Of course they have offered a 50% reduction for Fold3 so the question is will they also offer a 50% reduction for Newspapers.com. In the case of Fold3 there is some duplication as I am confident there is with Newspapers.com. It is all about getting our money. If everyone boycotted Fold3 and Newspapers.com I am sure they would soon see the wisdom of combining everything into the World Ancestry subscription, which I also have.

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  2. I compared the availability of several newspapers in Ohio at Ancestry.com,GenealogyBank.com, fold3, NewspaperArchive.com and Newspapers.com and found few duplications. I thought Ancestry.com obtained newspapers from NewspaperArchive.com, but I might be wrong or they did so at one time.

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  3. I wonder if Ancestry's new owners have their fingers in this. If they are just going to spin off various parts and start charging us separate fees for them, I wonder how many people will just quit. Another thing I suspect is that Ancestry has no idea how many people dislike them. -------Jo

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  4. I received an email Friday from newspaper.com support in response to a question I posed about the discount:
    "For the next couple of weeks there are two main ways to get theAncestry.com discounted $39.95 rate:
    1) Call (1-877-519-0129) or email (support@newspapers.com) usand simply mention that you are a member of Ancestry.com, and
    2) Adds will be visible on Ancestry.com that will allow membersto link to Newspapers.com and receive the discounted rate.
    We are currently putting the finishing touches on thedevelopment side that will allow members to automatically receive thediscounted rate through a 7 Day Free Trial. This will be up and running in thenext couple of weeks."

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  5. Any word on what's happening with this? I have seen several offers for half off when I log into Ancestry, but I'm not paying them more money for something they were already offering. Even if it's something new, above and beyond what comes with my subscription, I'm still not paying. It's bad enough that Archives (now part of their family) and Fold3 require separate subs. I will be dropping my Archives sub once it expires; I joined long before there was mention of Ancestry buying it out. I won't be renewing my Fold3 sub. So far, I find more military information through my regular Ancestry subscription or through Family Search than I do through Fold3.

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  6. Why hasn't Ancestry just given it's members a two week free trial. I will not buy another subscription to Ancestry. They are supplying members with less and less for more $. I find just a much online thru channels with other genealogists.

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