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Will we pay more for magazines on the iPad?

Business Insider has a post up from AdAge about magazine pricing on the iPad, and they've got bad news for anyone planning to transfer all of their magazine subscriptions to Apple's magical device: It'll cost ya. While a year's worth of Popular Mechanics goes for $12 from the publication's website (or even cheaper if you can pick it up from Amazon or that random kid wandering your subdivision selling subscriptions), the iPad subscription will cost $29.95; that's over twice as much. You can buy a year's worth of Wired on Amazon for just $10, but one issue on the iPad costs you half of that.

Why? At first, the cost seems like a ripoff; publishers don't have to pay for paper, ink, or postage, so you'd think the content should actually be cheaper. Then you calculate in the cost of interactive designs and features, researching new technologies, and creating new workflows, and creating an iPad version of the magazine starts to get more expensive. Throw in that publishers are wary of pricing their content too low, and you get a higher price than a print subscription -- which plenty of readers will probably pay anyway.

That's a pretty fragile pricing state, though; e-books are already cheaper than their print versions, and while comic books are the same price in the store as they are on something like the Marvel application, you have to think that those prices will drop too. As usual, early adopters will pay the most, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the price of "e-magazines" drop as publishers and consumers alike even out the rough edges of the transaction.

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