Is it just me, or does it seem that European magazines are way more active in developing iPad and tablet digital publications?
Recently there have been a slew of digital magazines released in Europe, and Axel Springer Verlag is just the latest examples of this. It would also appear to me that the pricing and subscription models are more consumer friendly in the EU compared to the US, where publishers seem determined to set an example and train tablet users to expect high pricing models for Magazine Content.
So which is the better strategy? Attracting loyal readership with low pricing and making money through sales volume is one way, or hold out for higher pricing and risk fewer readers of the digital editions?
While I think the production costs for digital content may seem high to publishers initially, I feel the exponential growth of the tablet market on multiple platforms is being ignored in the US approach. Production costs may be high, but ultimately the distribution costs are not when scaling to potentially millions of readers. To me the scalability of the digital platforms are the real differentiation to print, where each additional copy costs extra ink, paper, packaging, transportation, distribution, warehousing, inventory and waste copies.
So I guess personally I come down on the side of lower pricing and future volume, even if this initially means subsidizing the effort slightly. Plus, establishing and automating digital publishing work flows is an experience best had in the beginning of the upcoming rush to tablet publishing.