Combine SubscriptMe with Evernote …
I saw this from Subscription Content. SubscriptMe Takes the Hassle Out of Managing Subscriptions.
It’s awful to admit this, but I don’t have very many subscriptions. Managing the few I do have is not a big deal, so this new app doesn’t do much for me.
For a person who does have a lot of subscriptions, something like SubscriptMe may be a good idea.
Now … of course what they should do is combine this with a reader app so that the user can get all his subscriptions information as well as the content in one place. That would be a good service.
Here’s the idea. I think the genius company that decides to do it would (1) brand themselves as a forward-looking advocate for publishers and readers, and (2) create a new source of revenue.
As everybody in the subscription publishing industry knows, selling content on Apple and Amazon isn’t the greatest deal because those companies want to keep the customer information — and the customer. That undermines the publisher’s business model.
(Note: this is a problem for subscription publishers. Selling books is another matter.)
The trouble facing publishers is that magazine consumers expect to be able to access their subscriptions on any device. This creates conflicts and tough decisions for the publisher. It’s good for the consumer to let them get their subscriptions on iPad and Kindle, but it can be bad for the publisher because Apple and Amazon steal the customer.
As they wrestle with this decision, many publishers wonder if they should create dedicated apps for their content. This also has problems, including (1) putting the publisher in the technology business, and (2) the problem of “app fatigue.” Or, as a friend expressed to me one time, there’s a growing chorus of “No, I don’t want your stinkin’ app!”
Many consumers don’t want to have a Sports Illustrated app, a Kiplinger app, a Time app, a Better Homes and Gardens app, etc.
Large publishers could streamline this a bit by having one app that includes all their titles, but … consumers don’t know or care who the publisher is. A Hearst app, or a Time app, would mean nothing to them.
Rather, the consumer just wants a reader app. I.e., this is where I put all my stuff that I read.
Consider Evernote as a starting point. A user can clip articles from the web to read later in their Evernote app. They can forward an email, or a pdf, to their Evernote account and then read it on their iPad, on a desktop, or on their smart phone. There’s lots of things an Evernote reader can read in Evernote — except for subscription content!
Well … at least not directly. They can clip content into Evernote, but that’s asking the user to take extra steps, and it might not be in the publisher’s interest, because it’s easy to share content from Evernote.
Imagine if Evernote had a tab for “my subscriptions,” which used an API to connect to the publisher both for authentication and to pull in the latest content. To satisfy Apple’s app requirements, there would be no sales in the app. The sales would take place with the publisher, but the content would be available in Evernote.
This provides a great benefit to the consumer because he has one place to read all his stuff. He stores his SI login, his Kiplinger login, his Time login, etc., and he can get all his subscriptions — plus other things he likes to read — in one place. The terms of the sale are set with the publisher. All the app is doing is providing a place to get the content. It’s a super-charged reader app.
I pitched this idea to a guy at Evernote a little while ago. He liked the idea for a couple reasons. First, it would increase usage of Evernote because people would be using it for even more content. Second, it would give Evernote a lot of exposure, since publishers would be pushing their readers to them. Evernote would become the default app for access to subscription content.
I thought it was a no-brainer, but they declined to pursue it because (I’m pretty sure this is the reason) they feared it would sour their relationship with Apple.
I can understand that, but I think they were catastrophizing. There’s nothing about this app concept that would violate Apple’s terms.
So, here’s the idea for you app developers out there. Create your own reader app, somewhat like Evernote, that provides a platform for free and paid information. You might consider partnering with SubscriptMe to handle that side of the business.
The developer of the app would charge the publisher a small fee for delivery of the content, which would cover the costs of keeping the technology up to date. This would get the publisher out of the technology business.
Such an app would be like Flipboard, but better. Like Evernote, but better. Like a dedicated reader app, but better.
So … what’s stopping you?
Facebook says “All your user data are belong to us”
(Search “all your bases are belong to us” if you don’t get the reference.)
Years ago, Amazon and Apple told publishers “all your subscribers are belong to us,” and naive publishers said, “uh, okay then.” Now Facebook is getting in on the act. Will publishers wise up?
I doubt it.
A couple weeks ago I mentioned this article, and how it should transform your ideas about content. What We Got Wrong About Books says that data about readers is valuable.
If you publish your content straight to Facebook, guess who’s getting that data?
Publishers — don’t be suckers yet again!
Build trust, not traffic
This is worth your time: Why You Should Be Building Trust, Not Traffic.