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The atlantic magazine and their ipad app, another sad failure

JANUARY 4, 2011

brianlovesthis asked: Less a question than a comment: I wish magazine subscribers got the iPad edition as a part of their subscription (as in: I'm a print subscriber, and I'd love to have it on my iPad as well, but it's a ripoff to ask me to pay for it twice). The Atlantic is the best magazine I read; this is extremely frustrating, though.

The Atlantic: I share your frustrations, and that’s something every magazine publisher is trying to figure out as they move further into the digital realm. Right now, almost everybody (if not everybody?) charges an additional fee for their iPad subscriptions because it requires new resources and a new team to make that we didn’t have or weren’t using before. Most publications, in fact, are losing money on their iPad editions because the cost of making the application is greater than what they recoup in subscription and ad revenues. Offering readers an additional — and oftentimes more convenient — way to access our content, though, is what we see as most important right now.


Ok, this is ridiculous. Basically what the Atlantic's comments moderator should say if he/she were honest, would be - "Sorry Brian, we haven't figured out our digital strategy. And because we don't have a digital strategy, when it comes to the iPad we don't have a clue about how our print readers would even use an Atlantic iPad app. By the way, Brian, you must know that this stuff is expensive. It requires strategists, developers, digital producers, project managers, mobile developers, UI UX experts, etc etc..not only is it expensive it's really, really hard! Just like every other publisher we are losing money on this failed adventure, so suck it up Brian, and pay up too! How else can we make it convenient for our readers to access our content? Smart ass!!"


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