Saturday, June 15, 2013

About cheap subscriptions

I think there's a facet of the digital-publication revolution which few publishers have really realized yet: the power of cheap subscriptions.

Sure, everybody knows that cheaper brings more sales. But is it enough to make up for the lower price though? Well, the thing is in digital, the floor is the floor, since additional sales do not come with additional expenses in printing, distribution, etc.

There is a handful of subscriptions (photo mags, magazines for artists, money publications...) which I keep around despite the fact that I rarely have the time to read them. I do so because I just like them, I like having them if I ever feel like reading them, and because the price is low enough that it doesn't bother me.

Obviously that will vary from person to person and from time to time. For me at the moment, if a subscription is $20 per month, it better deliver and I better take advantage of it, otherwise it's ouddi. But if it's only $5 per month, I may just keep it around indefinitely.

I think this can be a gold mine for publishers.
A good way of doing it without feeling you're giving away the farm is to do it with bulk rebates. Say a monthly subscription is $20. Some will then make  the quarterly $50 or even $55. I say: make it $40, or even $35! And the yearly may be under $100, that's a big savings.  This will be a very attractive offer, and will make you a mint in loyal subscribers.

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