Originally Posted by nvidia2008
Zzzzzzzzzz. I'm tired of repeating over and over again for the benefit of these publishing companies. Just give us the digital editions at low prices, make it run smooth and fast and look crisp, and Boom! You're in. Why all this pussyfooting around with which publications go where and when and spending so much effort on new publications specifically for iPad (which will probably be overpriced anyways)?
Case in point from Murdoch's country of birth... Many people like to keep in touch with Australian happenings. The NewsCorp newspaper The Australian, while right-leaning, is pretty much the only *national* Australian newspaper. Just get it on the iPad, $0.99 per issue, as long as it is cheaper than the print version, you can keep all the ads in there even, sorted. People will buy. Why is it so hard to understand?
There is a The Australian app by NewsCorp so I'm wondering why this article says it is Murdoch's first digital publication (okay fair enough The Daily will be the first NewsCorp iPad-only publication). The issue I see with The Australian app is that it seems like a web version and not the verbatim print version. Also, yes $6.99 for a month's subscription is good but why can't I purchase individual issues?
I'm confused. Australian and other users that have tried this app, what do you think?
In general, is it just me or is it very simple... We want, firstly, the verbatim print version at the minimum, because that has high value over "web" or "digital" versions. Because the iPad replaces magazines and newspapers. That does not mean that we don't want to read those magazines or newspapers, we just want it in a more convenient form. Especially for travellers, it is comforting to be able to read your home country's newspaper on the iPad as though you are flipping through the print version... In time, yes, iPad-only or iPad-specific publications may garner interest and value. But the first step is, we just want the print version in a convenient format at a low price on a per-issue or subscription basis (don't leave out the per-issue option!).
Publishers must understand that they have strong brands and strong value in print publications because of decades of history. A new iPad-tweaked publication will have to be damn good and also take time to become popular and valuable. Any publisher thinking of creating special digital versions and charging more than the print versions are barking up the wrong tree. As I say above, start simple, price low, go for volume, offer at minimum the verbatim print version and formatting (bells and whistles like page reflow, "social" bullshit and all that, OK, but get the basics down).
Zinio is quite good but needs lower per-issue pricing, as well as integration with paying only through the App Store to simplify purchases and cater to impulse buys from customers.
I'm not au fait with The Australian, but I see your point and agree entirely with what you say. I take a great interest in how the news networks and magazines are approaching the digital platform, and I too feel they're approaching it all wrong. I blogged a couple of days about this, so I'll just paste in what I wrote here, I'd be interested in anyone's feedback. Note it's a continuation of a previous post I made about iPad magazine sales being in decline.
Why are digital magazines on the iPad already in decline, after the initial gold rush users are losing interest in the digital versions. Wired, which sold 100K issues of its first iPad release, then managed to sell an average of 31K in the following months, with only 23K for October and 22K for November (for comparison they sold 130k printed versions in Oct-Nov).
Why is this happening? Its too early to say for sure (this is a very new market space), but general consensus is that Apples lack of subscription based payment is a major reason, meaning users have to manually purchase individual magazines rather than automated payments, plus these work out being more expensive. Theres rumours that Apple are about to roll out subscription based payments, hopefully it wont be too little too late.
But will it be the answer, possibly, but I believe magazines and news networks need to look at the iPad and tablets in an entirely different way, rather than simply a medium for them to spout out digital versions of their print publications.
Ive read numerous blogs and reports saying print is dead, but theres new print magazines being released every week, so that doesnt seem to ring true to me. Consumers still wish to consume, but the way they consume information is different now, its available instantaneously from so many sources and with social networks that information is becoming more and more driven by their friends, associates and their own likes and dislikes.
Flipboard on the iPad is a wonderful example of this, never before has my Facebook, Twitter and RSS feeds looked so good, and been so engaging. Now if I could subscribe to several news networks, magazines etc all within a single app (or website for that matter), and micro pay for each article as I read it, Id be happy, as I only pay for the articles that grabbed my eye and interested me, and the software would automatically highlight related articles from all my subscribed sources and suggest new ones from other popular sources I may not have heard about and would have never found on my own.
Hands up who has ever read an entire newspaper or magazine, cover to cover? Not many, so why pay for the whole thing when you only read a fraction of it? So rather than getting what you pay for, how about only paying for what you want? Who wouldnt pay a penny or a cent or two per news item or magazine article that they read, as long as the payment part was transparent and managed for them, most people would give this a go, especially if they knew they could set a cap, or would have access to the whole issue if they went over a certain percentage of articles. Adverts can still be utilised, they could even be used against payment, watch an ad, get the article for free or at a reduced rate.
The technology is certainly there, the main thing holding it up, is publishers being scared to give it go through fear of losing control of their content and user base, but if they dont do it soon willingly, then their hands will be forced by market forces, and theyre have less room to negotiate!
Who could pull this off, Apple, Amazon, Google, they could all do it, although I feel Apple is best placed for the micropayments, plus by utilising the iPad and the iOS platform, far more engaging advertising can be achieved than on a Kindle. Google just dont have the payment side worked out properly. Apple on the other hand do, they have iTunes, ease of use and making micropayments is already there. Ive read often that micropayments wont work as users are put off by the fear of accumulating enormous bills at the end of the month, but the success of the App Store squashes that claim, often Ive purchased apps at £0.59 (the minimum charge), for Apps I know nothing about, or will only use for a day or so.
With rumours of the next iPhone and iPad finally having Near Field chips, Apple are in a prime position to take on the big credit card companies that have been dragging their heels on NF for years.
An application that fuses Flipboard and Apples iBook into a magazine / news RSS reader, come social app linked to your Twitter and Facebook accounts, that microcharges you for articles as and when you read them, embedded with iAds, all linked back to your iTunes account, would be a very powerful and profitable application, and would be the perfect way for Apple to build its own social network (which its hungry to do), and utilise its new cloud data centre.