Greg's bite: affordable digital magazines
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Greg's bite: affordable digital magazines

By Greg Mills

As I have mused in previous articles, digital download content must have reasonable economic market value to flourish. The old concept of "everything on the Internet needs to be free" has slowly evolved into a mixture of both free and paid content.  

Apple was really the first to create a "go to market" scheme that worked, selling digital music on line for a dollar a song. It was due to a combination of a serious intellectual property protection system, a neat iTunes interface for both Macs and the PC, iPods that just worked and (Steve Jobs, who was personality able to hammer the music industry into accepting his pricing structure). While there is still some bitching and moaning, Apple's iTunes store is just too big a market for serious music labels to not participate in.

Now, the same sort of pricing issues are being worked out in the publishing industry.  Magazines that are currently printed on downed trees are struggling to find the economic sweet spot for digital download of that same content and potentially more, as in video. The first digital download magazines were priced nearly as high as half an entire year of regular magazine issues, that have to be printed on paper and mailed to readers at great expense.  

The market spoke in a fairly uniform voice, as people were not willing to pay so much on a regular basis. I suspect a lot of folks bought one digital magazine as sort of a test of the concept, only out of curiosity. Sales were very limited, at that price point.  

Six months later, some major publishers have moved to a new and more affordable price structure where those who pay for a paper version subscription as get the right to download the digital version at no additional price. I think they are just half-way there in reducing the price structure to meet the market price. Look for the same market price "gravity" to also force iBooks down. Jobs is sly enough to have anticipated all this.  

There is an interesting price point calculation that goes on in our heads when we see something we like and then look at the price. "Sticker shock" and "buyer's remorse" occur when the reasonable expectation of what something ought to cost is exceeded by too much. Sometimes we rationalize and just go ahead and buy things that seem a bit pricey, but we want them enough to go ahead and pay the high asking price. This process in many cultures is called haggling and is expected in most purchases.

The game is played and enjoyed by both sides as the seller prices his wares so high only a fool or a foreigner would pay the price listed. The savvy buyer offers half the asking price as both a starting point and to indicate to the seller that they are interested in buying the item. The issue is only the price. The buyer and seller work the price out in an animated and dramatic ritual as old as commerce itself. The buyer may just walk away to indicate he is not willing to match the seller's lowest asking price. The buyer (seller of the goods) may follow and drop his asking price in hopes of finding an acceptable negotiated price.  

Digital magazine buyers walked away in droves and early downloaded magazines failed to take off at the high price publisher hoped for. Now they are drastically dropping their price to include the download for free to those willing to buy the hard copy subscription. I submit that there will be one major final price reduction to reach the tipping point where digital downloaded magazines actually replace paper versions. That is when the buyers are willing to drop the hard copy and settle for just the digital copy for some price less than the snail mail subscription price. If you can give me the 12 hard copy issues for $9.99 and include the digital download for free, why not cut the price to $4.99 for 12 digital issues alone and keep the printing, paper and mailing costs out of the calculation? Look for that to happen before the digital magazine actually replaces the hard copy.  

"People" magazine was the first to break the first price barrier, but still wants to send you the hard copy at current subscription prices. People who subscribe to "People" magazine can also go to the Apple App Store and download an app that lets them enter their hard copy subscription number to get a free digital copy of the current issue. "It's our way of say thanks for being a valued print subscriber" the in-app storefront says. I read between the lines to read a bit more: "Once we get you used to the digital version, we will offer you a few bucks off to drop the dead tree version."  

The old calculus of what something is worth will kick in, and when there is a reasonable discount for consumers who forgo the paper, printing and mailing costs compared to the current subscription price, digital magazines will really take off.  I will go on record as stating that when a digital download subscription (without the hard copy) gets down to half the best annual subscription rate now available, the digital magazine age will begin and iPad and similar devices that are coming, will really reach their potential. That will not happen until greedy publishers really get that consumers demand a major discount for not getting a hard copy.

On a personal note, the US Patent Office recently published my Utility Patent Application for a Solar Energy Start-Up I have been working on. While it is never a slam-dunk to get the PTO to agree that something is novel, my attorney and I are quite hopeful I will get a patent on converting used dual pane window and sliding door glass into thermal solar panels.  

This technology promises to convert some of the10,000,000 foggy or lime deposit spoiled glass window units now going into the landfills of the USA. I want to convert some of that glass into solar panels to heat water.  I entered a contest being held by General Electric. While engineer judges will award the serious money to the most promising technology, the public can vote for the the ideas they like the best.  If you like my idea, it would be cool of my readers for me to have your vote!  The handsome, grey haired dude that looks a lot like Tom Selleck in the picture is me.  Thanks for your support! Go to http://challenge.ecomagination.com/ct/ct_a_view_idea.bix?i=130D0D83 .

By the way, Finally, there is an app for that. The Apple App Store (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ge-challenge/id380664613?mt=8) has a free app that lets you hook up with the GE Innovation contest.

(Greg Mills is currently a Faux Artist in Kansas City. Formerly a new product R&D man for the paint sundry market, he holds 11 US patents. He's working on a solar energy startup using a patent pending process of turning waste dual pane glass into thermal solar panels used to heat water. Married, with one daughter still at home, Greg writes for intellectual web sites and Mac related issues. See Greg's web sites at http://www.gregmills.info . He can be emailed at gregmills@mac.com )

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Bookends 12.5.8 - Reference management a...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Access the power of Bookends directly from Mellel, Nisus Writer Pro, or MS Word (... Read more
Chromium 44.0.2403.125 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. Version 44.0.2403.125: This release contains a number... Read more
iMazing 1.2.2 - Complete iOS device mana...
iMazing (was DiskAid) is the ultimate iOS device manager with capabilities far beyond what iTunes offers. With iMazing and your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod), you can: Copy music to and from... Read more
Audio Hijack 3.2.0 - Record and enhance...
Audio Hijack (was Audio Hijack Pro) drastically changes the way you use audio on your computer, giving you the freedom to listen to audio when you want and how you want. Record and enhance any audio... Read more
FontExplorer X Pro 5.0.1 - Font manageme...
FontExplorer X Pro is optimized for professional use; it's the solution that gives you the power you need to manage all your fonts. Now you can more easily manage, activate and organize your... Read more
Calcbot 1.0.2 - Intelligent calculator a...
Calcbot is an intelligent calculator and unit converter for the rest of us. Featuring an easy-to-read history tape, expression view, intuitive conversion, and much more! Features History Tape -... Read more
MTR 5.0.0.1 - The Mac's oldest and...
MTR (was MacTheRipper)--the Mac's oldest and smartest DVD-backup app--is now updated to version 5.001 MTR -- the complete toolbox, not a one-trick, point-and-click extractor. MTR is intended for... Read more
LibreOffice 4.4.5.2 - Free, open-source...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
Adobe Lightroom 6.1.1 - Import, develop,...
Adobe Lightroom is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $9.99/month bundled with Photoshop CC as part of the photography package. Lightroom 6 is also available for purchase as a... Read more
File Juicer 4.41 - Extract images, video...
File Juicer is a drag-and-drop can opener and data archaeologist. Its specialty is to find and extract images, video, audio, or text from files which are hard to open in other ways. It finds and... Read more

Pac-Man Championship Edition DX has brou...
Bandai Namco has released Pac-Man Championship Edition DX on iOS and Android, which features the classic arcade gameplay that we've all grown to love. Pac-Man Championship Edition DX can be enjoyed in much shorter bursts than the arcade versions... | Read more »
Cosmonautica (Games)
Cosmonautica 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: Cast off! Are you ready for some hilarious adventures in outer space? | Read more »
Rescue humanity from a Demon horde in An...
Angel Stone is Fincon's follow up to the massively successful Hello Hero and is out now on iOS and Android. You play as a member of The Resistance, a group of mighty human warriors who have risen up in defiance of the Demon horde threatening to... | Read more »
Gallery Doctor (Photography)
Gallery Doctor 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Photography Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Free up valuable iCloud and iPhone storage with Gallery Doctor, the only iPhone cleaner that automatically identifies the... | Read more »
You Against Me (Games)
You Against Me 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A simple game… You. Me. Claim, steal, lock, score, win! | Read more »
Yep, it's True - Angry Birds 2 is O...
The not exactly rumors were true and the birds are back. Angry Birds 2 has come to the App Store and the world will... well I suppose it'll still be the same, but now we have more bird-flinging options! [Read more] | Read more »
You Could Design Your Own Card for Chain...
If you've ever wanted to create your own item, weapon, trap, or even monster for Chainsaw Warrior: Lords of the Night, this is your chance. Auroch Digital is currently holding a contest so that fans can fight to the death (not really) to see which... | Read more »
Bitcoin Billionaire is Going Back in Tim...
If you thought you managed to buy everything there is to buy in Bitcoin Billionaire and make all the money, well you though wrong. Those of you who made it far enough might remember investing in time travel - and it looks like that investment is... | Read more »
Domino Drop (Games)
Domino Drop 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Domino Drop is a delightful new puzzle game with dominos and gravity!Learn how to play it in a minute, master it day by day.Your... | Read more »
OPERATION DRACULA (Games)
OPERATION DRACULA 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $5.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: 25% off launch sale!!! 'Could prove to be one of the most accurate representations of the Japanese bullet hell shmup... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Sale! 13-inch MacBook Pros on sale for $100 o...
B&H Photo has 13″ MacBook Pros on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.5GHz/500GB MacBook Pro: $999.99 save $100 - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina... Read more
Sale! Save $100 on 13-inch MacBook Airs this...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for $899.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model.... Read more
Worldwide Tablet Market Decline Continues, Ap...
The worldwide tablet market declined -7.0% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2015 (2Q15) with shipments totaling 44.7 million units according to preliminary data from the International Data... Read more
TP-LINK TL-PA8030P KIT Powerline Featuring Ho...
Consumer and business networking products provider TP-LINK is now shipping its TL-PA8030P KIT AV1200 3-Port Gigabit Passthrough Powerline Starter Kit that expands your home’s network over its... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Air 2s available for u...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished iPad Air 2s available for up to $140 off the price of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 128GB... Read more
Updated Apple iPad Price Trackers
We’ve updated our iPad Air Price Tracker and our iPad mini Price Tracker with the latest information on prices and availability from Apple and other resellers. Read more
Apple refurbished 2014 13-inch 128GB MacBook...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at $759. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: - 13″ 1.4GHz/128GB... Read more
Apple’s Education discount saves up to $300 o...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The... Read more
Mac Pros on sale for up to $260 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac Pros on sale for up to $260 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro: $2799, $200 off MSRP - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro: $3719.99... Read more

Jobs Board

Executive Administrative Assistant, *Apple*...
…supporting presentation development for senior leadership. * User experience with Apple hardware and software is preferred. Additional Requirements The following list Read more
*Apple* Bus Company is now hirin - Apple Bus...
Apple Bus Company is now hiring school bus drivers in the Pettis County area. Class B CDL preferred. Free training provided. No nights or weekends required. Flexible Read more
*Apple* Certified Mac Technician - Updated 6...
…and friendly, hands-on technical support to customers troubleshooting and repairing Apple /Mac products with courtesy, speed and skill. Use your problem-solving skills Read more
Infrastructure Engineer - *Apple* /Mac Envir...
…a part of a team Requires proven problem solving skills Preferred Additional Apple Certified System Administrator (ACSA) Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC) Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description: Sales. Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales. Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.