iPad app pricing: You’re not fooling consumers

As I mentioned in one of my comments on my previous post about iPad app pricing, the gap between the value assigned by publishers and the value perceived by consumers was one of the big issues in terms of paid content.

Now, we’ve evidence of this. Mediaweek is reporting that “Mags Get Pushback on Per Issue Price on iPad“. They quote this comment on Time magazine’s app.

As one customer of Time magazine’s app ($4.99 single issue) wrote, “Not to put too fine a point on it, but they’re … passing the savings on distribution and raw materials to themselves. I can get 56 issues of the paper version for $20. How am I supposed to feel about this?”

Some consumers also misunderstood the pricing, thinking that the per issues pricing was actually a subscription. They also quoted an unhappy, although not antagonistic, comment from a Popular Science customer, who wanted to be ‘help’ and buy the iPad edition but couldn’t bring himself to pay the $4.99 per issue price. Sara Öhrvall, director of research & development at Bonnier Corp., publisher of Pop Sci, put a brave face on it saying that they were working to prove the worth of the per issue price. She said:

We have to do a lot of work to recreate the magazine for the iPad.

However, that’s the problem. Rather than recreating the magazine for the iPad, why not think about the iPad how it changes what you can offer. This has been the problem when it comes to digital content. Most content creators think of recreating a legacy experience instead of creating a new experience. We have digital audiences now. They are natively digital. They don’t want a magazine experience on an iPad. They want a premium digital experience delivered on their device.

That they might pay for, although it’s doubtful that they will pay more than you’re charging them for a print experience. You’ve got a long way to go to prove that to consumers.