Monday, January 24, 2011

iPadding The Books

Apple may understand the way people like to buy music these days, but it doesn't understand readers. When reading this excerpt from a recent New York Times article, remember that from Amazon you can get a monthly Kindle subscription to "The New Yorker" (four issues) for $2.99:

Many applications cost almost as much as a printed copy of a magazine, a difficult concept for consumers to get their heads around considering that a paper product is more expensive to assemble and distribute than an electronic version of a magazine. The New Yorker, for example, costs $4.99 an issue in Apple’s App Store but $5.99 on the newsstand. Esquire is also $4.99 an issue, the same as the cover price on the newsstand.

Subscriptions are another sticking point. A vast majority of magazines available on the iPad must be bought per copy. Customers cannot subscribe and have it delivered as they can with other publications available on the iPad like The Economist, The Wall Street Journal or The Daily, the News Corporation’s new iPad-only venture that is to begin within the next few weeks. That means if consumers want to receive the magazine regularly, they would have to pay far above normal subscription rates.

“Sheer highway robbery,” read one recent comment about The New Yorker in the App Store. “I’ll keep with my paper subscription. I will never pay $250 per year for an app."

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