1. Q: Using the matrix below, identify the various attributes of a subscription that could be unbundled and make a judgment about the relative value of that attribute to each segment.
Subscription Attribute Consultant (Individual) Professional (Individual) Corporation Large Library Small Library
Articles older than 10 years old (Discontinued Titles) No or limited value Small value; approx. $100/title Limited value; approx.. $50/title Large value; approx.. $350/title Valuable; approx.. $250/title
New (Current Year) Articles/Frequently Updated Journals Very valuable; roughly $1,000/title Valuable; approx. $850/title Valuable; approx. $850/title Valuable; approx. $850/title Valuable; approx. $750/title
Engineering Journals/Articles Valuable; approx. $900/title Valuable; approx. $900/title Very valuable; approx. $1,300/title Valuable; approx. $850/title Valuable; approx. $750/title
2. Q: Create a list of potential price metrics that would align price paid with value by segment.
Potential price points are listed in the cells after “relative value.” Certain types of articles will be more valuable to some groups than others. Articles “older than 10 years old” for example, have no use for consultants who need to know about the latest technological breakthroughs. For libraries, however, where students and professors may go back as far as 25 years back to read an article, there is some value. Since the information would still be “dated” and not as useful as newer research, the value is still overall lower. The same can be said of “engineering journals.” These will be extremely valuable to corporations, whose R&D engineers need the articles. It would also be valuable to consultants who need to keep up with trends, including engineering trends and professionals (perhaps a large subset of these are engineers or require engineering knowledge in their profession), but not as valuable to libraries, because only a small subset of library users will be engineering students and/or professors who require usage of these articles. Lastly, small libraries will be the most price sensitive and will almost never be willing to pay as much as the other segments, unless they find some additional perceived value that the other segments don’t perceive.
3. Q: What are the relative price levels (highest to lowest) that you think you could achieve for the different segments?
Because corporations seem to be only (or at least primarily) interested in engineering titles, they will most likely want to purchase individual journal subscriptions. These individual subscriptions will be extremely valuable to them. Being as corporations are also the least price-sensitive consumer segment, they will be willing to pay more. Their negotiation of lower subscription prices also indicates that pay per title may be the best approach. $1,300/title would be where I would estimate that corporations would be willing to pay and this would be the highest of any segment.
Next up, speaking purely in terms of price/title would be the consultant segment. Because it is an absolute must to keep up with the latest trends, consultants will be less price-sensitive than most of the other segments. If they were unable to keep up with the latest trends, they would be unable to perform their job duties. That being said, the consultant(s) segment will also not be interested in many of the available journals and will be more likely to purchase on a per title basis, depending on the level of specialization of their consulting firm. I estimate there would be willingness to pay $1,000/title if a per title subscription was purchased and $65,000 (a slight per title discount for 71 journals) for the unlimited subscription. (No additional seat pricing would be necessary as this is on an individual level).
Next up would be the “professional” segment. Much like the consultant segment,