Are Digital Magazine Subscriptions Worth the Price?

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Hey, I’m Chris. I wrote this article and I’m also the founder and Editor of DailyTekk. Lets connect on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube. Check back daily!

ziniomagazinenewsstandreader_ipadI am a long-time lover of magazines. Some of my favorites include Wired, Fast Company, Business Week and Harvard Business Review (all of which I subscribe to). The question is, would I prefer to source them from the physical or virtual newsstand? There is a lot to consider here–chiefly, the value I feel I get for what I pay and the quality of the experience itself (from buying to reading).

I’ll start by saying this: I actually really like a few of the digital magazines I have tried recently: the iPad versions of both Wired and Business Week are excellent and pioneering. I feel like both of those publications have put a lot of effort into creating something unique in format, features and function. On the other hand, I was somewhat disappointed when I tried to load up my digital subscription (which I paid extra for) through Zinio. I’ll spend a little time talking about what I like and don’t like about the digital subscriptions I have had experience with so far and to make things simple I’ll focus on Wired and HBR.

Wired is my favorite digital magazine subscription, though it isn’t perfect. I love the interactive features such as animations and videos embedded directly within pages. It feels like the evolution of what reading a magazine should be like. On the other hand, I hate the downloading process; it almost never downloads an entire issue without constant, can’t-blink-an-eye-or-it-will-pause supervision. Just recently I knew I’d be riding in a car for 8 hours and tried to get the download completed before I left. I opened the Wired app, started the download and left… apparently my iPad went to sleep or perhaps a piece of dust landed on my iPad in just the wrong way, but the download got less than 1/8th of the way completed. The downloading experience with Wired is my major gripe (and judging by the iTunes comments, it really irks a lot of other folks as well)–other than that, the content, as usual, is superb, as is the design. The digital subscription is pricey, however, at $19.99 per year. Is it truly worth this price? I don’t think I can say yes at this time… I mean, I can find a basement bargain deal price on many of the magazines I love over at SlickDeals–I’m talking like $3 per year. I know a lot of ...

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