What Do You Think of iPad Magazine App Pricing?

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If you buy the digital editions of Popular Science or TIME Magazine on the iPad, they cost $4.99 each — same as on the newsstand.

However, one-year subscriptions to Popular Science (the paper magazine) are currently selling for $12 — or $1 an issue. And TIME subscriptions can be had for $20 — around 35¢ an issue.

That’s an excerpt from a recent report by Philip Elmer-Dewitt at Fortune, on how some of the print publishing industry is thinking about pricing for iPad versions of their titles.

The article mentions that prices for a number of iPad editions should get lower ‘in a month or so’ when Apple begins allowing magazines to set up subscriptions in the App Store.  Even then though, it looks like at least some popular titles won’t be cutting prices by that much – noting that Popular Science is still planning to charge $29.99 for 12 iPad issues.

So far I have only purchased one magazine issue on the iPad – the issue of Time magazine that featured Stephen Fry interviewing Steve Jobs, and the iPad itself.  I was very impressed with that issue, but I cannot see myself buying often at the current price of $4.99 per issue. 

I think ‘iPad edition’ costs need to come down to at least close to the print subscription rates to be tempting for me.  At $1 per issue / $12 per year, a quality title would be very tempting.  At $4.99 a pop, they are quite easy to resist. :)

What about you all?  Have you bought / subscribed to any iPad magazines yet?  What are your thoughts on pricing so far?

Via: Fortune and Gizmodo

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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10 thoughts on “What Do You Think of iPad Magazine App Pricing?”

  1. One of the reasons I purchased an iPad was to read magazines and newspapers without purchasing paper copies. I find reading from an electronic document to be much easier and more portable (I can have hundreds of documents with me by carrying one small device). I certainly don't expect free content; business is business. However, I'm not willing to pay more than the paper copy, particularly for the same content. At this point, I'm not asking for anything special–just give me an electronic version of the current magazine or newspaper. The USAToday app is an example. But I'm not willing to pay more than for the paper copy.

    At this point, I'm refusing to purchase high priced electronic versions of magazines and newspapers. Publishers are testing the market to see how desperate we are for this medium. Don't buy. Prices will come down.

  2. The annual subscriptions via Zinio are reasonably priced and presented very well. I wish more of by favorite mags were available there.

  3. I totally agree. Why pay triple for a digital subscription? Once the hoopla dies down so will prices.
    I remember reading that on day 1 when the ipad was released someone in Europe paid $5500.for one. Nuts, don’t you think?

  4. So, $4.99 for the digital version of Time. Or I can go to the website and get 6 weeks for $1.99.

    IMHO – pricing sucks right now.

    I just goes to show that old media still doesn't get it.

  5. It's nonsensical pricing like this that drives people to piracy. I'll consider paying the same price for a digital subscription as a paper version but I will never pay a cent more unless it comes with other features (e.g., full access to a back library).

  6. Nice – glad to hear you got such a good result with that title. Sad that they seem very much the exception – and with a different set of circumstances – rather than the rule right now.

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