If you want your digital publications to make money, here’s a great first step: when customers want to give you money, don’t refuse. Take the money.
Like, for example:
When someone says that they’d like to place an ad in your tablet publication, don’t say that they also need to book a page in the print edition. Instead, just take the money.
When someone wants to subscribe to your tablet publication, don’t tell them that you only sell all access packages. Instead, just take the money.
When someone would be ready to tap on a subscribe button in your app, don’t tell them to call or go to a web site because you don’t fancy the idea of giving Apple 30%. Instead, just take the 70%.
When someone would like to try out your publication for a month, don’t tell them that the minimum subscription period is a year. Instead, just take the money.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for offering bundles. Even though I don’t personally believe that the future is in all access packages, I don’t see much downside in selling them. Again, just take the money if it’s being offered.
What I do have a problem with is the notion that publishers could effectively withhold desirable products to compel readers and advertisers to pick something more profitable instead.
That doesn’t work, and the reason is very simple: publishers no longer hold any power in their reader and advertiser relationships. None. You are not “the phone company”. You are not the only one with a printing press. Your customers no longer have any reason to take your bullshit. They can, and will, just walk.
Just take the damn money.