Virgin Launches Project for iPad; Android And iPhone Soon - Is This The Future of Magazines?
I've yet to purchase a magazine on the iPad. But I am going to get Virgin's new "Project" that was made available for the iPad yesterday. It'll cost $3 per issue while the app itself is free. And oh, a version for Android and the iPhone is coming as well.
What's interesting is that while magazine and newspaper publishers have waited eager for the iPad to save them, that hasn't happened. Honestly, I don't know what the hold-up is. I cannot understand Apple's, specifically Steve Jobs, revulsion for subscriptions is all about.
So, this model Virgin is using may well be the next best thing. Instead of subscriptions, publishers can release apps and allow users to download new content on a weekly or monthly basis. They can also set up alerts and auto-payments to make this work more efficiently.
And at $3, it is a fair price. Much more so than the $5 that Wired is charging per issue. I believe that the per-issue price will likely drop as the number of subscribers become more comfortable with digital (and more interactive) magazines than just print versions. You know, economy of scale and all that. And over time, the cost to produce such products will go down as well.
Right now, the Project is a great and welcoming experiment. I am sure a lot of people are watching to see how well it does.
Anyway, I'll be taking a look at this when I return home. But I do hope that Apple and Google do make it easier for publishers to sell content to mobile warriors.
More at Electronista.