The Wall Street Journal have announced that they will charge $17.99 for their iPad edition. As reported by FishbowlNY, a subscription to both the online and print version of the Journal costs $2.69 a week, or roughly $10.76 a month. And yet, the paper wants to hike that cost up 67 per cent for a subscription to the iPad edition alone.
The move raises questions about the comparable value of print and digital editions. More specifically, of print, online, and what we might call enhanced digital editions, like those being designed for the iPad format.
Given that online news content is largely free (although the Journal’s is not), but print news content is largely charged for, we might automatically value digital editions less, and assume that they will cost less. In announcing that its much-publicised iPad edition will probably be cheaper than its print magazine, Wired magazine has followed this way of thinking.
But does the potential of the iPad to offer an enhanced experience of multimedia content, interactivity and social sharing, not to mention the device’s status as a groundbreaking way of delivering news, in turn offer publishers an opportunity to value it higher than the print product? Or, in the case of the Journal, a subscription to both print and online?
image by curious lee