Adobe Digital Publishing Sticker Shock
The oldest golf magazine in America, Golf World, announced recently that it was going all digital as part of its “new strategic vision.” In print since 1947, the news weekly is a companion to Golf Digest, Conde Nast’s monthly magazine. Going completely digital is a “response to the time and people’s reading habits, and the changing nature of the 24-hour news cycle, “ Jerry Tarde, Golf Digest’s Editor-in-Chief, told ESPN.
As publishing giants like Conde Nast set the trends for the rest of the industry and begin moving more of their titles away from print, smaller publishers are feeling increased pressure to do the same. With more than 50% of U.S. readers owning tablets, organizations understand that readers are expecting to find their favorite publications in major app stores.
But it is not easy for small publishers to make the transition from print to digital. There’s the time required to rethink content and design for different mobile platforms as well as the cost required to invest in new tools and training.
Adobe’s Pricing Is Out of Reach for Many Nonprofits
Adobe, which licenses Creative Suite, the industry standard for publication design, has an app solution that would be the preferred choice for publishers since it is part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud family of tools. But, unfortunately, its cost is out of reach for many organizations. Especially in Washington DC, where publications are often free or provided as a benefit of membership, Adobe’s Digital Publishing Solution (DPS) is tough to justify from a price standpoint.
At OmniStudio, we began researching digital publishing platforms a few years ago. Recently I revisited Adobe to see if changes had been made in their pricing structure since then. Adobe’s reps are enthusiastic about discussing their approach to costs and say that they are flexible about pricing. But for the Enterprise level, which is required for more than one title per app, prices are customized for each client.
“We look at different factors related to the publisher, before we can determine the cost,” I was told by a senior Adobe rep. “We look at the overall organization, how much they might be saving in print costs, and other business considerations before we can tell you what the costs will be.”
Adobe’s Enterprise DPS App May Cost Between $10,000 and $50,000 per Month
I pressed the Adobe rep to give me an idea of costs for a typical organization. For example, I suggested an association that publishes a monthly magazine. For the required Enterprise app “the price would be between $10, 000 and $50,000 a month,” he said. (Yes, you read that correctly, per month!)
Adobe does offer the option to publish single title apps to the Apple Store if you are a Creative Cloud subscriber. But this only applies to one title within one app. Published to iPad only the cost is $385, but with multiple platforms it increases to $500 a month. Once you move into multiple titles, the Enterprise app is required.
Mag+ Has A Good Track Record and Transparent Pricing
Fortunately other publishing options exist for those on tighter budgets. If you’re looking for app tools that work with Adobe’s Creative Suite and have sophisticated features like analytics, custom design options, and client hosting, products from Mag+. and Yudu are excellent digital publishing platforms to consider.
For about $500 per month, you can publish multiple publications through apps that are distributed through Apple, Android and Kindle Fire stores. All features and prices are clearly spelled out on Mag+’s website, and, like DPS, you can take your publication through the design process and view it before publishing for free.
While Mag+ isn’t the only alternative to Adobe DPS, it has established itself as a top competitor. Swiss-based company Bonnier AB owns Mag+. It’s established a good reputation for the product by using it on U.S. Bonnier Corp’s Popular Science and Field & Stream magazines.
YUDU Enables Note-Taking and Offers Web Version
YUDU, a 10-year-old company that has built its reputation on university and corporate publishing, also offers more specialized features such as accessibility for visually impaired readers and the ability to take notes within the application. It has a per-page pricing model that gives publishers a way to present their materials via the web and through all the major app stores starting with PDF files they create from Adobe InDesign. Though Yudu’s prices are not displayed on their website, they will send you a very detailed pricing sheet that applies to all customers. Their pricing is also much lower than Adobe’s.
It’s inevitable that digital publications will replace print issues over time. Maybe Adobe’s prices will come down as competition gains ground. For now, it’s good to know that there are comparable alternatives. OmniStudio can help clients weigh the differences between app publishing tools, consult on page design, and guide you through the entire process. The road to digital can be challenging, but with an experienced creative partner by your side, you’ll reach all your goals and feel confident getting there.
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