So the other day the iPad-only Gourmet Live launched a new feature called "SuperFavorites." Until now, the app limited all users to "favorite" twelve items, meaning articles from expired weekly issues would still be available for future reading (otherwise older issues were available for $0.99). Now you can favorite all you want! And search your favorites! Hooray! But here's the catch: It costs $9.99.
And better hurry because it's a 2010 "charter rate," and soon the price will presumably go up. Even better: It's not a lifetime upgrade, but an annual charge.
Here's the text from the app promoting "SuperFavorites" with a curious combination of ALL CAPS, Strange Capitalizationing and lots... of... ellipses:
UPGRADE TO SUPERFAVORITES — LOCK IN A LIMITED TIME 2010 CHARTER RATE! Get Unlimited Favorites in an Enhanced View for a Full Year for a great rate. Favorite any article, recipe, video, or slideshow anywhere, anytime, from anywhere in the app and it's automatically captured in your favorites...no limitations. Even better...Did you favorite items before that exceeded the standard 12? They'll all be there...waiting for you... Take advantage of the 2010 special rate. Come 2011 we're introducing our annual list price. At a time when iPad magazine sales are plummeting — just yesterday, WWD reported that "Digital sales dropped toward the end of 2010 for all the magazines that make those figures available to the Audit Bureau of Circulations" — is charging ten dollars for the ability to "superfavorite" articles the best approach?
People make comparisons between the iPad magazines of today to the CD-ROM magazines of yesteryear, but does the future of digital magazines include nickel-and-diming (or nickel-and-ten-dollars-ing) your users for a basic feature set? Why not just make the most awesome digital magazine you can, features and all, and just charge a reasonable price for it?