In the olden days, "how much would you pay?" was almost always followed by "... but wait, there's more." Now, with the kids and their kooky Internet thingie, it's more like, "pay what you would want to pay." Period. No free gifts, but no need for the four easy payments, either.
Here's the deal: Radiohead recently released its new disc, In Rainbows, on their website for the low, low price of: whatever you wanted to pay. They suggested a price, and offered more if you paid full price, but you could (and many did) get the album for free. Legally.
Now, I really don't get Radiohead (please, Radiohead fans, let's not go there right now), so their offer didn't have any impact on me. But now Paste Magazine has the same sort of offer: a year's subscription for whatever you think it's worth. There is a minimum price of $1 and people who pay more than the regular subscription price will be recognized in a future issue. Even current subscribers can take advantage of the offer and re-up for a year at the self-defined price.
Paste is an excellent music and culture magazine, and each issue comes with an always interesting sampler CD, but for budgetary reasons I can only subscribe to a limited number of magazines. Right now it's Consumer Reports - which I always subscribe to because I like their advocacy work (and, of course, their reviews) and Beer Advocate, because I like beer (and, of course, their reviews).
I would love to add Paste to that list (and have thought in the past of subscribing), but now the question is: how much do I pay? Do I pay the minimum with the knowledge that if enough people sign up, Paste would have many more readers and could theoretically cover the cheaper subscribers with higher advertising rates? Do I pay the suggested price ($19.95), which, as much as I would have liked to, I wouldn't have done if I hadn't heard of this offer? Or do I reward Paste for their hippie-dippie generosity by paying over the asking price (and get my name in a magazine as a bonus)?
What do you, both my readers, think? I'm leaning towards $5 or $10 bucks, but technically my magazine budget is already maxed out, so maybe just a buck?
Just like those old Ginsu knife offers, the Paste deal is only good for a limited time, so let me know what I should do, quick!