Friday, 26 September 2008

e-edition questions

Now that we are in the second week of the Toronto Sun's 14-day e-edition free trial, it is time for the tabloid to be clear about its future.

Will the paid e-edition include every single page of the daily print edition, sections, inserts and all? And how much will it cost per month?

We've been thinking the cost to every e-edition subscriber will be the $4.99 per month being flogged in the advertising.

But the wording in Quebecor's latest online Thinkmedia issue makes it sound like the $4.99 is strictly for current seven-day subscribers of the print edition.

"The e-edition will be offered at a small additional cost to existing subscribers (except for 24 hours which will always be free). The e-edition will be an option for subscribers suspending delivery for holiday trips and, with a 14-day free trial, will also be a marketing tool to interest new subscribers.

"It will also be offered as a stand-alone product that complements the print newspapers, which continue to be the most “mobile” way to our content, using the technologies currently available."

So how much will the e-edition cost someone who is not a print subscriber? If it is still $4.99 per month, excellent. If not, where are the e-edition rates for non-subscribers?

(Mobile downloads are another pricing issue.)

We Googled Transcontinental Media, another Canadian media chain that joined Sun Media in the past week in launching digital e-edition newspapers, both designed and managed by NewspaperDirect in Vancouver, B.C.

The format for the Sun's e-edition and Transcontinental's SmartEdition are almost identical, but the pricing is not.

We checked out the SmartEdition for the Western Star in Newfoundland and found the monthly subscription rate is $16.18, print or Smart Edition. Saturday only for three months is $17.97.

A single Western Star SmartEdition copy is $3.75. Yowser!

Will the Sun's e-edition prices for anyone other than print subscribers be in that ballpark or higher?

Stay tuned.

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