I recently checked out a free issue of N-Photo, a magazine devoted to Nikon users, using their iOS app and really like it. Subscription through the N-photo app was a steep $59.99 which seemed like a lot for a monthly magazine. Now, I’ve been using Zinio for years to read various magazines on my mobile devices, so I was curious if they carried N-Photo. I opened the Zinio app and found it at $64.99, $5 higher. Well, I know about Apple’s 30% cut on in-app purchases and decided to check out Zinio’s website.
Low and behold, the 13-issue subscription price was indeed exactly 30% less at $45.49 or $19.50 cheaper than the Zinio in-app price! That’s a pretty big price difference.
I guess the moral of the story–and one I need to pay more attention to–before doing any in-app purchases is to consider the possibility of an alternative way of purchasing outside the Apple ecosystem. I like the way Amazon does it with Kindle and Audible books. They don’t even have in-app purchases. You have to know to go to the the Amazon website to get content. I suppose Amazon is big enough to get away with this tactic.
I really like N-Photo. It’s chock-full of helpful and interesting articles and tutorials, as well as wonderful pictures. If you aren’t familiar with it, you can get one issue for free if you download the N-Photo app. If you like it, subscribe through the Zinio website then download the Zinio app to read the content.
On a related note, I highly recommend Zinio. They’ve got a nice selection of magazines and reading them on an iPad is pretty nice. In the old days digital magazines were pretty much a PDF of the printed counterpart. Now, they are formatted for reading on a tablet. Depending on the magazine, you can read on a phone, but it usually involves a lot of zooming and unzooming. As much as I like paper, I just don’t like storing the copies for “future reference”–something that rarely happens, if ever.
On another related note, if you like to read lots of magazines and are interested in moving to digital, try Texture. It’s $10/mo for the basic subscription and $15/mo if you want access to their “premier” publications like People, Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, etc. There are still some excellent magazines in the basic subscriptions like Consumer Reports, Wired, GQ, Macworld, Money, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Popular Photography, PC Magazine, PC World, Road and Track, Rolling Stone and Shutterbug. Sadly, they don’t have N-Photo.