I am never sold on new things without doing a bit of research. When I think about digital magazines, books, and newspaper delivery I think about cost savings. One would believe the publishers are able to realize cost savings with a digital distribution model. There are not mailing costs, trucks, ink, printing presses, paper, glue, or physical delivery costs. At the very least, I want to see the cost of a digital magazine equal to the cost of the print version. The hope for the consumer is to realize a cost savings going digital or paperless. The hope for the publisher is to realize huge profit margin increases if they can maintain the sale price and reduce the cost to produce and deliver the product.
Is Print Less Expensive than Digital
With a couple exceptions, when you subscribe to a magazine in print or digitally your paying $1 or less per issue. Even as much as I want cost savings there is not much to save in the subscription world. The money here is made when someone buys a single issue in digital or print as the margins on those copies are extremely high.
There are countless benefits of using Zinio. Desktop and mobile access to subscriptions. Automatic notification of new editions. Personally, my favorites are the ability to browse through thumbnail pages of a magazine and one click access to the table of contents. I usually don’t feel it is needed to point out the value of digital content because if your considering going digital all the benefits are easy to uncover.
Downside of Digital Subscriptions
One downside of digital subscriptions is the subscription terms. Many magazines and newspapers allow the user to get a lower price if your willing to subscribe for a longer term, 24 months versus 12 months. If you compare the terms offered for digital to similar terms offered in print, the costs are equal, but if you subscribe to print editions for extended terms you can get better pricing. This is because, as yet, it doesn’t seem possible, except with a couple of exceptions, to subscribe to more than a year at a time. The only exception to this that I have seen in Zinio was for a subscription to ‘Science Illustrated’, where the cost was $24, but in very small print it was noted that just one year was $19.99. I didn’t even realize that the original term was for 2 years!
Those that I have talked about it with all feel the same about print vs digital. We don’t want the mess or weight associated with the paper. As a reminder, we just don’t want to carry several magazines, books, or newspapers when we travel. If nothing else, going digital won’t cost more, so for many it is a great option, and if this rings your chimes, you can know that you have helped save some trees. Here is a breakdown of the cost for a variety of magazines.
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