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Old 04-04-2012, 11:38 PM   #1
kevinp
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More ranting about pricing...

A paper subscription to Reader's Digest is $10/year. They have to print the magazines, have a place to store them until they go out for delivery and pay for delivery.

For a digital subscription, their server makes a copy of a file in about one nanosecond, sends it to Barnes & Noble's server, which then sends it out to my Nook Tablet. No publishers to pay, no leasing warehouse space, hardly any humans to pay salary to. Yet it's close to $18/year. Almost twice the price of a printed subscription!!! (Amazon is same price, so pricing is set by the publisher.)

I know this whole issue has been harped on for years here, but that's just the point--when will these publishers ever learn?

I'm not getting any subscription by the way. I just wait for my parents to hand me down their printed magazines. I suppose that's pirating by today's standards.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:42 AM   #2
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Agreed. While most periodicals have yet to get the pricing correct for electronic versions of their magazines, some are reasonably priced.

Time and Newsweek give you free content on your iPad if you are a subscriber to the print magazine. Otherwise, Newsweek is $30/year for iPad subscription. Time is $4.99/month. National Geographic is $20/year.

Newsweek and National Geographic are fairly well priced for the iPad only version. Time is a bit pricey, but free if you are a print subscriber.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:15 AM   #3
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we stopped subscribing to Time years ago because they're so pricey, but we still have Reader's Digest. I guess I don't know what the trouble is....$18/year even for a digital subscription seems a-okay to me. Isn't RD having financial problems? I suppose the anger is due to its being more expensive than a print version...but it's still rather inexpensive. At least for me.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:34 AM   #4
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The title says it's a rant, after all.

I'd just like to point out that if RD is producing Kindle and ePub editions of their magazine, it could be more expensive for them to produce the ebooks than the print edition if they have a very small ereader base and they don't have a good pre-production system that lets them create print and ebook without needing a lot of manual touchup on the ebook editions. Then again, they could just be gouging the ereader owners because they figure anyone who can afford to buy an ereader can afford to pay more per issue.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:51 AM   #5
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How much of the $18 does B&N and Amazon receive as a commission?
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:44 AM   #6
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Locus magazine is cheaper in electronic form. You buy directly from the company.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:10 AM   #7
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Reader's Digest - a blast from the past....

I tried Readers Digest once, long ago, and found it a bit unsatisfactory, I suppose you'ld say - Everything seemed a bit truncated, somehow - had to be to have so many articles/stories in those small end covers ....

Used to hate those "shortened" collections of books they used to turn out, still do for all I know - or was that some other lot who thought their customers couldn't cope with the real thing ?
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinp View Post
A paper subscription to Reader's Digest is $10/year. They have to print the magazines, have a place to store them until they go out for delivery and pay for delivery.

For a digital subscription, their server makes a copy of a file in about one nanosecond, sends it to Barnes & Noble's server, which then sends it out to my Nook Tablet. No publishers to pay, no leasing warehouse space, hardly any humans to pay salary to. Yet it's close to $18/year. Almost twice the price of a printed subscription!!! (Amazon is same price, so pricing is set by the publisher.)
If you subscribe through Zinio, it is $10, same as the print version.
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:56 AM   #9
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I started another post in News, but there is a brand new "Netflix for magazines" called Next Issue too. Much better pricing model.

eP
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:43 AM   #10
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It's been a long while since I'd looked at magazine subscription prices. I mean, I get a couple magazines by mail for being "club members." But, the cost of some of them is more than made up for by using their card in-store.

I have, however, looked at some eMag subscription prices and thought "Oh, man, that doesn't sound too bad. Don't even want to think how much more the physical copy subscription must be..." Then I actually looked. I was surprised.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinp View Post
A paper subscription to Reader's Digest is $10/year. They have to print the magazines, have a place to store them until they go out for delivery and pay for delivery.

For a digital subscription, their server makes a copy of a file in about one nanosecond, sends it to Barnes & Noble's server, which then sends it out to my Nook Tablet. No publishers to pay, no leasing warehouse space, hardly any humans to pay salary to. Yet it's close to $18/year. Almost twice the price of a printed subscription!!! (Amazon is same price, so pricing is set by the publisher.)
Actually, current subscription rates according to Reader's Digest's site are 2 years for $15 and $10 one year of print (with the 6 months of iPad for either option). 81% and 74% off the cover (and presumably regular subscription) prices, respectively.

The digital (iPad) version is $10 for 12 issues (doesn't have a 2-year option).

The Large Print edition is $27.96 per year (53% off).

Those are the current discounts on rd.com. Couldn't spot the shipping & handling costs, which also inflates the prices a bit.

EDIT: Oh, and Canadian prices are currently $24.97 + $7.99 S&H for a year of print, and $19.99 for a year of digital on the iPad and an even $20 at Zinio.

Last edited by JD Gumby; 04-05-2012 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:56 AM   #12
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I wonder if perhaps the issue is advertising? The print version is heavily subsidised by advertising; perhaps they find it more difficult to sell advertising for the digital edition?
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:22 PM   #13
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I wanted to get People Magazine for my iPad, which has its own app. If you buy through the app, without getting the paper subscription, it's ~$4 per issue. If you get the paper subscription, it's about ~$2 per issue, and the iPad downloads are included. So, I got the paper subscription, and when they come in the mail I give them away and read only the iPad version.
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:00 PM   #14
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I wanted to get People Magazine for my iPad, which has its own app. If you buy through the app, without getting the paper subscription, it's ~$4 per issue. If you get the paper subscription, it's about ~$2 per issue, and the iPad downloads are included. So, I got the paper subscription, and when they come in the mail I give them away and read only the iPad version.
Well, remember, if you buy through the iPad app, it pretty much *HAS* to be more expensive since Apple demands their cut of in-app purchases and subscriptions.
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:29 PM   #15
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Well, remember, if you buy through the iPad app, it pretty much *HAS* to be more expensive since Apple demands their cut of in-app purchases and subscriptions.
Although I've seen some oddities with Zinio in-app prices. It was actually cheaper to subscribe through the app than on the website, which makes no sense.
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