Conde Nast continues its promised roll-out of print titles for the iPad. Vanity Fair was released late last week for both the iPhone and iPad at $4.99 an issue.
The mobile iterations follow closely the model used in GQ. The full contents of the magazine can be thumbed in facsimile format when the iPad is in landscape mode.
Apparently recognizing recent complaints by iPad users that the single issue pricing of these apps is multiples higher than a subscription rate, Vanity Fair is giving a price break to customers. Once one buys the first iPad edition for $4.99, subsequent months will cost only $3.99. This is still extremely expensive if you consider their current 20 week (2 year) print copy subscription offer is $20.
Having given their content away online for years for free are publishers in danger of now over charging for it!
Maybe? Maybe not?
I suggest that they are pricing high to capture those who will pay a premuim for digital access whilst using high price to illustrate the value of their print subscription offers.
Remember that however well the iPad sells its penetration will never give enough coverage to sustain a digital only model so publishers have to grapple with subscription versus digital price comparision fro years to come.
I dont mind premium prices for the digital format and low prices for the print subscription model particularily for magazines not least because magazine print subscription prices have been historically extremely low and now is certainly not the time to raise subs prices