Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Bloomberg Signs Up for Apple Subscriptions

Here’s another name-brand media company signing on for Apple’s iTunes subscription service: Bloomberg, via its Bloomberg Businessweek magazine iPad app.

Stuff you need to know:

  • The pricing makes sense: $2.99 for a four-issue digital subscription, versus $4.99 at newsstands–and, just as important, close to the $0.77 an issue price for an introductory print subscription. Also sensible: Print subscribers get the digital version free.
  • Unlike other magazine apps, Bloomberg isn’t straining hard to add multimedia bells and whistles: There’s an introductory video with editor Josh Tyrangiel, and an audio interview featuring Charlie Rose, but the rest of the design is as utilitarian as the print version–no 3-D animation here.
  • That stripped-down design means the app will only run a modest 30 megabytes per issue.
  • Unlike other publishers, Bloomberg isn’t making a point of reaching out to Apple’s competitors: It’s not promising to launch on Google’s Android or any other platform soon. Instead, it notes that 17 percent of the print magazine’s subscribers already own iPads.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work