Subscribe To A Newsapaper, Get An E-reader Free

from the make-it-up-on-volume dept

Well, this was bound to happen. Barnes & Noble is offering big discounts on its Nook e-readers to people taking out subscriptions to digital editions of magazines and newspapers:

The Nook edition of People is $9.99 a month; with a one-year subscription, customers will receive a Nook Tablet, a color device with a 7-inch display, for $199, a discount from its regular price of $249. Customers who buy a one-year subscription for the Nook edition of The New York Times for $19.99 a month, which includes access to NYTimes.com, will receive a black-and-white Nook Simple Touch free or a Nook Color for $99.
It's that last deal that's really striking: a free Nook when you subscribe for a year. The benefit is clear: once you've got your Nook, you're quite likely to buy a few other titles to read on it, and that's where the profit starts rolling in for Barnes & Noble.

It's not hard to see Amazon following suit. After all, it is allegedly selling the Kindle Fire for less than it costs to make, so it has effectively adopted the same business strategy already.

The low-end models for both Barnes & Noble and Amazon are ideal for bundling free with newspapers and magazines, especially as hardware prices continue to drop. E-readers might even be offered free with e-books, provided people commit to buying a minimum number per year - traditional book clubs would be wise to try this approach in conjunction with Amazon or Barnes & Noble before those two do it on their own. Similarly, it can only be a matter of time before the newspaper and magazine publishers start offering combined hardware and software bundles as standard in an attempt to entice people to sign up for digital subs.

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Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 12:43am

    And the race to build a platform starts.

     

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  2.  
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    Nick (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 12:47am

    Web comic called it.

    http://www.leasticoulddo.com/comic/20090507

    March 7th, 2009. The idea is actually older than the nook! Comments are gone, but some people said it's brilliant, other said it'd never work.

    Makes me wonder if someone at the Times was combing the archive of LICD during work hours

     

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  3.  
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    Nick (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 12:55am

    Re: Web comic called it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 2:37am

    I wonder if those platforms will have something like WhoSampled, to see how much people took from other books.

    I mean just look at Jay-Z getting freaked out about thieves when he is the biggest of them all.
    http://www.whosampled.com/artist/Jay-Z/

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 4:45am

    This sounds familiar ...

    I do not recall the company name, but several years ago (10+) a company offered a computer for $100 if you signed up for their multi year service. There was a slight problem though, upon receipt of the computer the customers would cancel the subscription. This angered the company greatly and they threatened to sue etc. I never did hear what became of this, I suppose it encouraged adaption of the much hated Early Termination Fee.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 4:48am

    Re:

    This sort of thing is old in the 70's I saw those "Learn free", "Course free" etc, the catch was that you had to buy the books to take the course or something.

     

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  7.  
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    Nom du Clavier (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 5:20am

    Re:

    Not exactly the same, but the CueCat saga makes for an interesting read.

     

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  8.  
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    Josef Anvil (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 6:04am

    Research

    This just flies in the face of the studies that say piracy is killing content. NYT made a success of its paywall, despite all the other available news outlets on the web (FREE outlets).

    I'm certain that a NYT subscription is not worth the discount on the Nook, but that doesn't mean that a few million other people don't feel different. So how exactly is piracy killing content ?

     

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  9.  
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    sumquy (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 6:10am

    am i the only one who thinks $9.99 for a month of people magazine or $19.99 for ny times is insane?

     

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  10.  
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    eclecticdave (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 6:17am

    Been waiting for this for some time...

    I've often said that the main reason I haven't bought a Kindle is that if I had the money I could have 15 paperbacks for the same price.

    If Amazon started offering free Kindles when you buy a bunch of books, it's just possible I'd snatch their hands off ;-)

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 6:24am

    Re:

    Well, daily home delivery of the Times for me would cost $7.70 a week, or about $30/month. For $19.99/month, I don't have to recycle the paper.

    Not a terrible deal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 6:33am

    The idea is sound (if not terribly original - hell the printer business has basically been doing this for year, selling the printers cheap, then charging you out the backdoor for ink).

    Now if they'd start offering something I might actually want. $120 a year for People, for which I find next to useless, to save $50 on a Nook, is not a good deal.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 7:10am

    uhm .... something tells me this sounds a bit like an advertisement :)

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 7:10am

    Re:

    (a Techdirt advertisement).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 7:19am

    So let me get this straight, they are giving away FREE hardware (what some on this site have called a rare good) in exchange for your purchase of content (what some on this site have referred to as an infinite good). Therefor they are valuing the content more than the hardward. This is exactly how most people view the world, they are more interested in the articles, music, television show, movie, etc.. than they are in what they are using to view/listen.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 7:19am

    Capturing the RMR

    Recurring Monthly Revenue. That is what they are after. If a company can show a decent RMR then the financiers are much more likely to believe they have a sustaining source of cash flow. It worked for the cellphone industry, and for that matter the traditional telephone industry. RMR shows a much more predictable income source than future sales estimates.

    I wonder just how creative companies will get with this type of business model?

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 7:35am

    Re:

    Actually, you're paying for the hardware and content. You could make the argument that you're paying for the hardware again and again and again and getting the content free.

    It's their accounting and marketing that suggests free hardware and pay for content.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Pixelation, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 8:00am

    Can't do without

    Ooooh, People magazine!

    As Steve Martin once said, "I bet you read in Screw Up Your Life...I mean People magazine, I used to smoke Marijuana."

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Nick, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 8:11am

    I'm... not reading from this that you get "free Nook" for signing up, here you get a nook for $200 instead of $250 as long as you sign up for a years worth of People for $10/month.

    If you are looking for a deal on a Nook, and also a sub to People, this may be for you but....

    Who's to say that by the end of the first year that Nook won't have dropped on its own to 200 or less?

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 9:45am

    Re:

    Look at the tag..."Business model"...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Silence7, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 9:56am

    AOL - Free Computers

    Wasn't it AOL that was giving away free computers through Best Buy if you signed a 2-year contract for internet access. This is the same kind of deal. Frankly I'd like to see more of this.

    Amazon is already doing something like this with their "With Special Offers" Kindles. You see an ad on your powered off screen when your not reading, in exchange for a discount on the initial purchase price.

    They.. B&N, Amazon, etc... Should develop some sort of Netflix for books. $15 a month for all the books you can read. Sign up for 2 years in advance, free reader. You can have one book loaded on your reader at a time (along with your other books/documents)

    No Shipping
    400-600kb file sizes (No streaming GB's of data)
    Profit!!

    I have 8 people in my immediate circle with various reader hardware, and I believe all of them would sign up for a $15/month plan.

     

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  22.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 10:03am

    Re:

    Who am I kidding? You probably won't even read my comment as far as this quote seeing as you somehow dropped off reading the article just a couple of sentences short of what you didn't see, but I'll try anyway
    Customers who buy a one-year subscription for the Nook edition of The New York Times ... will receive a black-and-white Nook Simple Touch free ...
    I know patience is a virtue, but it seems it's also a virgin. It's never been used.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anita Honeycutt, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 11:45am

    Nook/subscription

    They also mentioned the color one for $99.00.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 9:06pm

    Spell Check

    Has spell checking gone out of style? In the title there is "Newsapaper" -- shows up just fine with the wiggly red lines on my computer. How about "Newspaper"?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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