An interesting article which we noticed today looks at whether digital content should be provided in parallel or as an additional charge. Many consumers feel that the digital version of a publication should be part of the sale when we purchase the hard copy, this is largely based it is thought on the premise that the digital edition is of lesser expense and therefore a natural gift to make.
This might not necessarily be the case the digital edition whilst not carrying the same logistic and printing costs can incur relatively high development costs. John Loughlin, executive vice president and general manager of Hearst Magazines is of the opinion that its OK to charge for both, whilst Time Inc.’s senior vice president for consumer marketing, Nate Simmons, states that the concept is similar to Time Warner’s TV Everywhere platform, but that this is just “magazines everywhere.” Time Inc. like some other major titles will provide a digital copy for free to subscribers.
The provision of a digital edition for a basic hard copy purchase is really a no-brainer but the equation becomes more complex where a publication is more sophisticated that it’s hard copy cousin.
Some examples provided by Loughlin of Herst Magazines for there being no entitlement are that seeing a movie does not entitle patrons to a free download, or that purchasing a Hard copy book does not entitle to an eBook version.
This blog recalls that Disney recently took to providing digital editions in its already crammed DVD/Blu-ray double packs so why not for books too?