How Much is too Much When Charging for the iPad Apps?

17 04 2010

This month’s  launch of Apple’s iPad is showing promise for magazine digital issues.  As of now, those magazines that have applications in correlation with the iPad are selling on an issue-basis, with no option for the buying of subscriptions.  For years, publishers have been losing annual revenue due to the increased use of their websites by readers.  Readers’ thinking has clearly been why pay for an issue when the information I want is on their website? Now that the iPad has launched, magazines are getting back into the mode of charging and pricing.  Their dilemma: how much to charge for the digital issues.

Those readers who have invested in the iPad feel that charging the same price as newsstand print editions is unfair.  Many reason that the savings on print costs are going to the annual revenue for the magazines, when they should be focused on saving money for the readers.  Their response?  The higher quality than print and the added features to content will convince readers that the prices are worth it.  The question now is whether it really is worth it.

Time, Inc. has commented that they will soon be offering subscriptions to digital and/or print as one, and the price should be lower than newsstand circulations.

Another magazine that is taking into account the pricing and the lack of pricing that it once was is ‘The Economist’.  ‘The Economist’ has increased its pricing for online content.  They have also switched from 1 full year to 90 days of content straight out of the weekly print edition being available online to anyone, making subscription holders the only readers able to see content from the printed edition, online.  This initiative is a build up to charging for the digital version over the iPad.  They believe that by making price changes now, the consumer is better prepared to pay for weekly editions on a digital means.

As of now, pricing is up in the air and magazines are feeling out what actually works and what needs to change.  They must do this before offering subscription prices.  Do you think that charging the same price for iPad applications and digital versions as print circulations is a problem?




2 responses

18 04 2010
Amy Morgan

I think that if they were to charge the same for digital as they do for print, they they need to provide more than just the content that they put into their print editions or people are going to stop buying. People who are able to afford an iPad have invested enough of their money into a costly electronic that they are not going to want to pay a higher chunk of change to get the publications that they want. The iPad is supposed to open doors for digital viewing, not lock the doors and have people pay a ridiculous amount for the key.

18 04 2010
Taylor Scott

I completely agree with Amy Morgan; if you’re going to charge the same amount when it costs users more money to purchase the iPad to begin with, then the apps need to have more of a purpose than their print counterparts. For example, if I go to People Magazine’s website I expect to have more options and articles, photos, etc. to look at then they provide in their print version.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: