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Media Martini: Content vs Commerce, Digital vs Print, The Times Tablet Strategy

Take a seat, let your week wind down, and grab that martini: here are our top picks in media for the first week in December.

1.  iPad Edition of UK Women’s Mag Grazia Marries Content and Commerce

Grazia on the iPad | Grazia DailyDigital media makes it much easier for publishers to sell things to readers – and UK women’s weekly magazine Grazia has launched a new “shoppable” iPad edition to do just that.  Readers look to the magazine to find products they want, and now those products are immediately available for purchase. It seems like a perfect fit, but PaidContent warns that publishers “must be careful not to let the commerce tail wag the content dog so much that readers balk.”

2.  Digital vs. Print Subscriptions

Publishers are rapidly making the choice about whether they will charge more for digital access, or provide digital content for free.  The Economist just separated digital from print subscriptions, so subscribers must choose between print-only, digital-only, or a bundle of the two (for a higher price).  Do you agree with Michael Brunt, VP of circulation, that “people think it’s reasonable to pay a little more for both”? On the opposite end of the spectrum, two UK papers (Mirror and Record) are offering their new iPad editions for free (at least on the weekdays).  However, PaidContent speculates that this may just be a way to prop up circulation numbers, and that the papers are not committed to a “free future forever” – several others have started with free iPad apps only to charge for subscriptions later.

3.  The Times Subsidizes Tablets To Grow Digital Audience

The Times makes tablet offer with digital subscriptionNews Corp’s The Times is offering a huge discount on the Lexus 7 mini tablet for digital subscribers.  The pairing is mutually supportive – the newspaper wants readers to pay for digital subscriptions (their subscriber base hasn’t been growing quickly), and Google wants to give consumers a reason to buy their product instead of an iPad.  The Philadelphia Inquirer tried something similar without great success, and the Chicago Tribune considered making their own tablet for readers, according to PaidContent.  Will the tablet offer help raise demand for subscriptions?

Let us know what caught your eye in media this week, and Happy Friday!