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.