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

Civilization VI 1.0.1 - Next iteration o...
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is the next entry in the popular Civilization franchise. Originally created by legendary game designer Sid Meier, Civilization is a strategy game in which you attempt to... Read more
Google Chrome 55.0.2883.75 - Modern and...
Google Chrome is a Web browser by Google, created to be a modern platform for Web pages and applications. It utilizes very fast loading of Web pages and has a V8 engine, which is a custom built... Read more
Chromium 55.0.2883.75 - 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 55.0.2883.75: Security fixes: High CVE-2016... Read more
Luminar 1.0.2 - Powerful, adaptive, conf...
Luminar is the new full-featured image editor that adapts to the way you edit photos. Over 300 essential tools to fix, edit, and enhance your photos with comfort. The future of photo editing is here... Read more
Slack 2.3.3 - Collaborative communicatio...
Slack is a collaborative communication app that simplifies real-time messaging, archiving, and search for modern working teams. Version 2.3.3: Fixed window zoom jumping back-and-forth OS X 10.9... Read more
WhatRoute 2.0.10 - Geographically trace...
WhatRoute is designed to find the names of all the routers an IP packet passes through on its way from your Mac to a destination host. It also measures the round-trip time from your Mac to the router... Read more
Luminar 1.0.2 - Powerful, adaptive, conf...
Luminar is the new full-featured image editor that adapts to the way you edit photos. Over 300 essential tools to fix, edit, and enhance your photos with comfort. The future of photo editing is here... Read more
WhatRoute 2.0.10 - Geographically trace...
WhatRoute is designed to find the names of all the routers an IP packet passes through on its way from your Mac to a destination host. It also measures the round-trip time from your Mac to the router... Read more
Slack 2.3.3 - Collaborative communicatio...
Slack is a collaborative communication app that simplifies real-time messaging, archiving, and search for modern working teams. Version 2.3.3: Fixed window zoom jumping back-and-forth OS X 10.9... Read more
Lens Blur 1.4.3 - True out-of-focus boke...
Lens Blur transforms your existing photo into true SLR-quality out-of-focus bokeh effect! Everyone needs a gorgeous personalized background for a social profile, blog, Web/UI design, presentation, or... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Amateur Surgeon 4 Guide: Become the worl...
It's time to wield your trusty pizza cutter again, as Amateur Surgeon has returned with a whole fresh set of challenges (and some old, familiar ones, too). Starting anew isn't easy, especially when all you have at your disposal is a lighter, the... | Read more »
Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire (Ga...
Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Telltale Games really is working on a Gu...
Telltale Games' next episodic adventure is indeed Guardians of the Galaxy. A document tied to the voice actors strike suggested that the project was in the work, but now we have direct confirmation following an announcement at the Game Awards that... | Read more »
Amateur Surgeon returns to iOS and Andro...
Amateur Surgeon and its two sequels disappeared from the App Store some time and it was sad days for all. But now, just in time for the holidays, the Adult Swim favorite makes its joyous return in the shape of Amateur Surgeon 4, a remake with... | Read more »
The best board games on mobile
Sometimes you need to ditch all of the high speed, high action games in favor of something a little more traditional. If you don't feel like parting ways from your mobile device, though, there are still plenty of ways to get that old-school fix.... | Read more »
The best Facebook Messenger Instant Game...
Facebook's new Instant Games is now here, meaning you can play games with your friends directly via Facebook. It's a fun new way to connect with friends, of course, but it's also proving to be a solid gaming experience in its own right, with a... | Read more »
You can now play game's on Facebook...
Facebook launched its new Instant Games platform in an exciting new attempt to engage its user base. As a result, you can now play a number of different games directly through Facebook Messenger. All of these games run with HTML5, meaning you play... | Read more »
Apollo Justice Ace Attorney (Games)
Apollo Justice Ace Attorney 1.00.00 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.00.00 (iTunes) Description: Court Is Back In Session Star as rookie defense attorney, Apollo Justice, as he visits crime scenes,... | Read more »
KORG iWAVESTATION (Music)
KORG iWAVESTATION 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $19.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A revolutionary new world of sound.The Wave Sequence Synthesizer for iPad - KORG iWAVESTATION | Read more »
Don't Grind Guide: Tips for becomin...
Don’t Grind is a surprising, derpy little one touch game with fun hand-drawn graphics. The goal is simple -- get the high score without being chopped to bits. That can be tough when you’re not used to the game, and that’s compounded by the fact... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Parallels Toolbox 1.3 for Mac Offers 25 Singl...
Parallels has launched Parallels Toolbox 1.3 for Mac, an upgrade that adds five new utilities to the stand-alone application which was released in August and is available exclusively online at http... Read more
OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini Ultra-Portabl...
OWC has introduced the new OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini, a powerful yet ultra-portable dual-drive RAID solution. The new Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini packs phenomenal performance into a small... Read more
Clearance 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros availab...
B&H Photo has clearance 2015 13″ Retina Apple MacBook Pros available for up to $200 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $... Read more
Roundup of 2016 13-inch 2.0GHz MacBook Pro sa...
B&H has the non-Touch Bar 13″ MacBook Pros in stock today for $50-$100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Space Gray (MLL42LL/A): $1449 $... Read more
New 13-inch 2.0GHz Space Gray MacBook Pro in...
Adorama has the new 13″ 2.0GHz Space Gray MacBook Pro (non-Touch Bar, MLL42LL/A) in stock for $1499 including a free 3-year AppleCare Protection Plan. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax... Read more
Finnair Adopts iOS Enterprise iPad Apps from...
Finnair and IBM have announced a first-of-its-kind agreement to utilize iOS enterprise apps from IBM to support the airline’s overall digital transformation. Finnair is focused on Asia-Europe traffic... Read more
Tech21 Launches Evo Go iPhone 7 Case Availabl...
Tech21 has announced the launch of the Evo Go case for Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, exclusively at T-Mobile. Available online and at participating T-Mobile stores nationwide, Evo Go cases start... Read more
Apple Turns (RED) with More Ways to Join the...
In recognition of World AIDS Day, Apple is offering more ways than ever for customers to join (RED) in its mission to create an AIDS-free generation. Apple is the worlds largest corporate contributor... Read more
Deals on new 15-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros,...
B&H Photo has new 2016 Apple 15″ Touch Bar MacBook Pro models in stock today with some available for $50 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar... Read more
12-inch Retina MacBooks on sale for up to $10...
12-inch Retina MacBooks remain on sale at B&H Photo with models available for up to $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. B&H will also include a free copy... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- White P...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Automotive Detailer - *Apple* Used Autos -...
We are currently conductinginterviews and will be accepting applications for a part-time detailer. Apple Used Autos is a great place to work andstart a career. We Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
US- *Apple* Store Leader Program - Apple (Un...
…Summary Learn and grow as you explore the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll master our retail business inside and out through training, hands-on Read more
*Apple* & PC Desktop Support Technician...
Apple & PC Desktop Support Technician job in Dallas TX Introduction: We have immediate job openings for several Desktop Support Technicians with one of our most Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.