Digital adoptions of ebooks continue to rise across the industry. And increasingly you see digital devices prevalent on commuter trains, subways, homes, and schools. While we love to see increase in digital adoptions, we still lament circulation losses among print subscriptions for magazines and journals.

Harvard Business Review recently shared a great use case that details how the magazine has added readers while increasing prices at the same time and offers print and digital subscriptions bundled together. Harvard Business Review has experienced a total circulation increase close to 10% in the last 18 months, up to 260,315, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. Both paid subscriptions and single-copy sales were up over 7% in the first half of 2013.

What did Harvard Business Review do to experience these increases in exposure and sales? They implemented an organized approach to building its brand across all platforms and used social media to extend its voice on the web. Additionally, Harvard Business Review does not offer print-only subscriptions anymore. Its most basic package comes with a form of digital access, which is an explicit value add for consumers. And this means they can charge more. 

According to Josh Macht, group publisher at Harvard Business Review, "Not unlike everybody, we saw print, on its own, was steadily declining in price. The difference we found was that when we did the bundled offer, we could actually raise the price of the subscription. Now we're seeing the pricing reverse."

A mutually beneficial and harmonious relationship can exist between your digital and print offerings. Just as consumers are demanding content be available across devices, they also want access to that printed publication.  

The full case study is available here. This blog will continue to present interesting case studies that illustrate new and successful business models publishers are implementing .

Contact us if you have a story to share.


AuthorMike Groth