Magazine Subscriptions

  interzone55 12:00 15 Jan 2013

I've noticed that an increasing number of magazines are now available for iPads, this doesn't interest me personally as I don't have an iPad.

What did just interest me was a special offer email I just received. The following special offers were available for the weekly magazine Amateur Photographer

Print & iPad combined subscription Quarterly: £18.47 Annual: £78.99 (about a fiver dearer than quarterly)

iPad only subscription Annual: £79.99 (or £1 more expensive than getting the print copy as well)

Why is it that companies still insist on charging more for digital downloads than physical copies?

Maybe it's because they assume that iPad owners are cash cows...

  woodchip 17:59 15 Jan 2013

Stopped buying Mags years ago, apart from odd one when I Go away on holidays. Though I have the Money Why Buy mags that most likely have at least three quarts full of Adverts to get you to spend even more money on things you do not need

  morddwyd 19:28 15 Jan 2013

"Why is it that companies still insist on charging more for digital downloads than physical copies?"

Part of it is that digital downloads carry VAT at 20%. Hard copy is free of VAT.

  Woolwell 20:02 15 Jan 2013

I was interested in the pricing of Amateur Photographer. Zinio price for the digital edition is £99.99 which they state is a 21% saving of the cover price of £126.99. I get PCA digital through Zinio.

Amateur Photographer's own website repeats the offer as stated by alan14 but the £78.99 is for one year and is by Credit/Debit Card and the £79.99 digital only offer is annually by direct debit only.

They digital version is only for the iPad and not other tablets at present.

  interzone55 20:15 15 Jan 2013


There's no VAT on digital magazine subscriptions, otherwise they wouldn't be able to bundle the iPad subscription with the print copy.


There is no VAT payable on magazine subscriptions in the UK. However, for some European territories, VAT is payable, but please note all prices on My Favourite Magazines are inclusive of VAT.

  simonjary 06:38 16 Jan 2013

morddwyd os quite right that VAT is charged on non-paper subscriptions.

See Zinio small print under Add To Cart.

  interzone55 08:32 16 Jan 2013


If that's the case, how do they bundle iPad subscriptions with the print magazine - surely the VAT would be payable on the value of the bundled download whether it is used or not.

I remember in the early 90's a record collecting magazine went bust after they got a VAT bill for the 7" single they bundled with each copy...

  simonjary 10:23 18 Jan 2013

If they don't charge extra for the iPad subscription there's no VAT to be paid on it.

Free iPad issue with paid-for print magazine.

  interzone55 13:47 18 Jan 2013


VAT is charge on the value of a good or service, not necessarily (but almost always) the selling price. So if a "free" gift increases the value of a Zero-rated product then VAT can be charged.

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