My new job
The content concierge: Curation and personalization, not discovery

Expedited Morning Delivery: A solution in search of a problem

BusinessWeek is all hyped up about a new service they're offering print subscribers. It's called "expedited morning delivery." I first heard about it a couple of issues ago and didn't think much about it. Then when I went out to grab the morning paper late last week I found my next issue of BusinessWeek in with the paper. Here's what the BusinessWeek cover says:

We are pleased to announce that your magazine will now be hand delivered to your residence in the morning 1-2 days prior to when you previously received it.

My bubble thought: "how much money are they wasting on this meaningless initiative?" After all, if I'm really that anxious to get my hands on the next issue I'll simply go to the free digital version they include with my print subscription. The simple truth is I generally don't read BusinessWeek (or any other print magazine, for that matter) till a few days or so after it's arrived. I wonder how many other subscribers are like me and this does absolutely nothing for them.

Ironically, BusinessWeek's expedited delivery service comes in the same month that my print subscription expires...and I have no plans to renew. I love the magazine so why am I letting my subscription lapse? Two words: Next Issue. If you're not familiar with it, Next Issue is an all-you-can-read digital magazine subscription service that can't be beat. I've been a subscriber for a few months now and they're always adding new magazines to the list. BusinessWeek was recently added, so I see no reason to pay for a separate print subscription when I can access the same content via Next Issue. It's not cheap ($14.99/month) but it's well worth it, particularly since it allows me to cancel a few print magazine subscriptions.

There are two other great features of Next Issue that really appeal to me. First, I can share my subscription with my wife. We both like different magazines but we're covered under one subscription. She's got an iPad mini and I use an Android tablet; the user experience is the same across both platforms. Second, Next Issue promotes discovery. I'm reading a couple of magazines I never would have bothered to buy on their own. But since they're part of my existing subscription I'm reading them from time to time and extending their advertising reach.

So now I listen to most of my music via streaming services (primarily Spotify) and I get most of my magazine content from Next Issue. It won't be long before we'll see the same phenomenon with ebooks. For now, though, I'm still buying individual ebooks and waiting for a Next Issue-like service that meets my needs for longer-form content.

P.S. -- This BusinessWeek initiative reminds me of the famous Henry Ford quote:

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.

It seems BusinessWeek is actually trying to create faster horses. Silly idea.



I wouldn't worry about your subscription ending. They'll probably still continue to deliver each issue. I never subscribed but each issue still shows up anyway. I think Bloomberg is desperate to keep circulation number up.

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