Are apps the monetising solution to online publisher’s woes?

Guest post from Nicky Allen, Marketing Manager Vodacom Mobile Media

Last night I was eagerly downloading the latest Vanity Fair edition on my iPad – an app for which I pay $4.99. Do I have a problem paying the price? Hell no, it cost R 169,00 for the print edition and I find the iPad edition way better, so I consider it a bargain.

So here’s the question: would I have paid $4.99 for content on their website? Hell no, who pays for content on websites?   But when I started thinking about it … what really is the difference?

Fundamentally I am interested enough  in VF’s content that I am willing to pay for it and I have done so for the past 4 months.

So the question is: are apps going to solve the publisher’s dilemma with respect to charging for digital content?  Because let’s face it, any attempt to monetise web versions of offline published content has largely met with dismal failure.

The App has enabled publishers to package up digital versions of content in a virtual beautiful box with expensive ribbon which I can’t wait to open.

The latest VF App is 590 meg so after it has downloaded, which takes time while I sleep, I can browse away without a bandwidth worry in the world.

The web could do the same thing … but waiting for content on the web is frustrating and uncool and definitely not worth paying for, in my mind.  And I am the paying consumer after all.

I did some dipstick research amongst my VF iPad reading friends…
Have they ever paid for content on the web?
A resounding no.

Do they feel the VF app is value and would they download it again?
Yes, yes ,yes it was a bargain!

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