Why Daily Telegraph’s Move To Over-Price Digital Version is Wrong?

Last week, New Media Age reported on UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph‘s move to launch a digital version, at a premium to the 55 p print newspaper price. And I think that is foolish. Here’s why:

Firstly, having a digital edition has to be as common as having a
website
. The software is out there and very cheap (and whatever Olive or
Telegraph say, their technology is just a souped-up PDF version). Hell,
there are probably open-source solutions you can even use for free, if you
so wish. British papers have been slow to latch on to it, but then, the
PDAs used to read these haven’t been any great anyway. Until now, that is,
with the tablet PC. Even then, it should probably take a couple of years
for the digital edition market to take off in any big way. And the online
and digital edition markets are NOT separate…they will converge
, and
sooner than you think.

About pricing the edition more in line with print, the rationale
Telegraph is giving is bordering on absurd. There is hardly extra cost
involved in converting the print edition into the digital one…PDF is the
de facto standard in paper publishing?or at least should be. So the
newsprint costs are cut down to well, zero. Well, and if the paper thinks
that the digital edition would attract the younger audience who don’t read
the newspaper, they need to wake up…if you don’t read news, you won’t
read it anywhere
.

Back to the pricing, the fact that perhaps it would be good to target
audience abroad with the digital version makes it all the more important
that the pricing be kept lower. And this may sound like a ridiculous
argument, but consider this: British pound is among the strongest
currencies in the world, and how many British expats would be earning in
British pounds in these foreign lands…think about it. 55 pence is about
42 rupees in India, in which you can buy a newspaper for 2 months
there…hence the rational to have the price even lower than the print
edition.

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