Categories
Magazines Technology

Digital as Expensive as Print to Produce?

To produce? Maybe for the content itself (although for the most part, content is shared between the two), but one of the biggest selling points for going digital is to save on printing costs and distribution. I do still have problems with some of the points this piece from Forbes brings up though on the content production side of things. I get that producing videos for a digital edition adds costs, but the idea that including more photos in the digital edition also raises costs is ridiculous — we’re just getting to see more from a shoot, the parts that usually end up on the cutting room floor.

The question of bandwidth could be an issue, but really, is there actually an alternative to releasing magazines for the iPad than through the iTunes App Store? The article gives Zinio as an example, suggesting that all magazines sold through that device are doing it through its own servers. Is Apple really not getting any cut from sales that are done through the iPad app though? If so, then I guess we can expect to see the release of a Conde Nast (or Time, Inc., etc.) app, that will house all of its magazines.

Update: A reader suggests that the point about the photos is not so ridiculous, considering that most photographers are paid for each photo published. I assumed they were paid for the shoots.

Categories
Magazines Technology

Time, Inc. Overcharging iPad Magazines in Japan

Even though I rather like the way Time magazine is presented on iPad — at least the way it was back in June when I purchased an issue — my biggest gripe has always been the pricing. I just feel that $5 an issue is not good business, and it will never make sense to match the pricing of a print edition with the digital one. So because of that, I haven’t purchased any issues since that first one (to check out the design), and I’m still hoping that they’ll come to their senses and come up with a new pricing structure.

But today I got curious as to what they were charging for issues if you access the app using a Japanese iTunes account, and was shocked to see that individual issues are 600 yen, which at today’s rate is about $7.20. Are they serious? The exact same digital product, which is simply downloaded from a site, gets a 30% price hike in a different region?

And it gets better. I checked to see what the pricing on other Time, Inc. titles were in Japan, and not only do Fortune and Sports Illustrated go to 600 yen, SI even has an issue priced at 700 yen. Sure, it’s a football preview issue, which was probably bigger, but even the one issue of Time I bought (pictured top, a World Cup preview) was a double issue and it was priced normally.

What’s wrong with these companies? In comparison, the Bonnier Corporation (Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, etc.) does a bit better. Although the latest issue of Popular Science is priced at 600 yen, all previous issues are priced at 350 yen ($4.20). As another comparison, Wired charges 450 yen ($5.40), which is not as high as the others, but still a price hike compared to the US price ($4).