Earlier this month, buried in the deluge of news from Frankfurt, a new Harry Potter digital subscription service was announced.
Initially limited to the US and UK, the subscription will set you back USD $75 or GBP £59.99 and will include access to the seven Harry Potter ebooks.
It’s a safe bet many Potter fans will already have the ebooks, if they are regular digital readers, but for print-only readers this might be a chance to experience digital books for the first time.
But the ebooks are neither here nor there. What Potter fans will be signing up for will eb the bespoke extras.
To start with, the website tells us,
Subscribers will receive a magical welcome gift, including a postcard-sized print of J.K. Rowling’s sketch of Hogwarts, an exclusive collectible pin and a personalised, interactive journal we’re calling Keys and Curios.
This beautiful journal will arrive personalised with your name, Hogwarts house and more. And Keys and Curios knows more about you than just your house – flip through its pages to find personalised surprises and, as the title may suggest, discover Enchanted Keys that you can scan with your Wizarding World app to unlock hidden secrets. Each month will offer up something new, display gorgeous themed artwork from across the Wizarding World and propose regular activities for you to scribble in.
Quality will be the name of the game with this operation, and Wizarding World Gold tells us that the Keys and Curios cover has been designed by MinaLima, the graphic design team behind the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films.
Of course that’s not enough to get fans to part with this sort of cash, so Wizarding World Gold lists the full range of benefits:
• Wizarding World Originals – Our new exclusive video series, set to unravel the mysteries and uncover the secrets from all corners of the Wizarding World.
• All 7 eBooks of the original Harry Potter stories – Take the magic of J.K. Rowling’s stories wherever you go with these 7 eBooks, available on the Wizarding World app for the duration of your subscription.
• Collectible pin badges – You’ll receive the first pin badge in your welcome gift. But there are more to collect!
• Special events – Access Gold subscriber events throughout the year, such as the Wizarding World Gold Christmas Party in the Great Hall at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, later this year.
• Exclusive discounts – Enjoy discounts from the Wizarding World.com shop, Platform 9¾ store in London’s King’s Cross Station, and shops within Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter and Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood, as well as discounts on The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ Exclusive Vacation Package at Universal Orlando Resort.
• Priority booking – Priority access to tickets for the most popular Wizarding World events and locations, including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child shows in London, New York and San Francisco as well as Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.
• Early access – Unlock early access to limited-edition Wizarding World Gold merchandise ranges and curious collectibles – before they go on general release.
• Plus, plenty of perks – including new quizzes and puzzles, chances to win once in-a-lifetime experiences and much, much more!
Wizarding World Gold has been put together by Wizarding World Digital, a joint venture between Warner Bros and Pottermore, in collaboration with Wonderbly.
Subscription boxes and hybrid digital-print packages are nothing new, of course, and the Harry Potter franchise is quite in a league of its own, but there’s much here for other publishers to emulate, and we can expect many more franchise subscription packages to appear as we head into the new decade, when the subscription economy will reach new heights.