Apple and Time Inc. Reach Deal to Allow Print Subscribers Free iPad Access


The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple and Time Inc. have finally reached a deal to allow subscribers to the print editions of Time's major magazines to access the iPad versions of those magazines free of charge. The deal breaks a months-long impasse that initially focused on paid subscription models but has also included accommodations for print subscribers. The two companies had reached an agreement for People last August, but Time's other titles have remained outside of that agreement until now.

Starting Monday, subscribers to Sports Illustrated, Time and Fortune magazines will be able to access the iPad editions via the apps, which will be able to authenticate them as subscribers. Time Inc.'s People magazine already had such an arrangement, but readers of most publications have had to pay separately for the iPad version regardless of their subscriber status.

According to the report, Time and Apple remain in disagreement over plans to offer digital subscriptions to iPad editions. Apple has of course rolled out an in app subscription program in which it collects 30% of all subscription revenue and gives subscribers direct control over whether their information is shared with publishers, and while several newspapers have begun offering content under the program, magazines have been more reluctant to do so.

Time Inc. and other major publishers have yet to agree with Apple on terms for selling subscriptions to their iPad editions, the next step beyond making them available to existing print subscribers. Talks are hung up on Apple's resistance to sharing information with publishers about their iPad customers, which publishers say is critical to applying the "TV everywhere" model to magazines.

In the absence of subscription plans, most users are stuck with purchasing single issues of their magazines for the iPad, a much more expensive proposition that has led to weak sales figures for most publications.

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Top Rated Comments

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112 months ago
Why want the print anyway?

Why would anyone want to have both the print and digital editions? Buy either the print or the iPad edition.... If you want the iPad edition, but have print already, cancel your print subscription. I don't even have an iPad, never will because of the radiation, but it's not to hard to make choices, now is it?
Rating: 2 Votes
112 months ago

Exactly what I was thinking.
How is this such a big deal when existing customers of other print publications are able to view the iPad equivalents free of charge?


Most US magazines do NOT do this (in the very post you commented on, minimac noted that Wired doesn't, either -- and they're wired!). And it's not quite as simple as "entering credentials in an app", since many print subscribers have no online relationship with the publisher.

A magazine could create an app that mirrors the "manage your account" of their websites, where you enter your mailing address or account number. Maybe they think consumers would prefer to use a central (Apple store) account. I would.

Both sides are being greedy, but I think Apple is a bit worse -- they want a 30% cut *and* the subscriber relationship, which often leads to more income via add-on sales. If publishers have to pay 30%, they should get the customer details.
Rating: 1 Votes
112 months ago

this is awesome. Have already had this ability on my Xoom for quite some time with Sports Illustrated. Glad Apple caught up.


LOL! What's "quite some time"? A Month? Doubt it.
Rating: 1 Votes
112 months ago

The fact that needed to be any extensive negotiation speaks volumes. Publishers should be allowed to this, without ANY money-grubbing interference from Apple. This is an issue between the subscriber and the publisher - Apple needs to butt out.


LOL! Obviously we don't know the details of what really went on, and it's obvious that Apple is adjusting to help expand the market.

Just because the rules are being defined in this new digital world, doesn't mean everyone is evil. I'm sure everyone is trying to protect their turf and bottom line... we're getting what the market wants.

But of course, again... if you look at it logically from a business side, your constant Apple bashing doesn't hold up.
Rating: 1 Votes
112 months ago

Why would anyone want to have both the print and digital editions? Buy either the print or the iPad edition.... If you want the iPad edition, but have print already, cancel your print subscription. I don't even have an iPad, never will because of the radiation, but it's not to hard to make choices, now is it?


Because of the radiation? :) Haha, what do you mean?
Rating: 1 Votes
112 months ago
this is awesome. Have already had this ability on my Xoom for quite some time with Sports Illustrated. Glad Apple caught up.
Rating: 1 Votes
112 months ago
Apple doesn't understand magazines are disposable media

I think is just continues to highlight a flaw with Apple's policies concerning subscriptions. If the iPad weren't selling as well as it is, Apple would surely not be trying this approach. Apple once had great dominance, and I do recall it was arrogance that led them into near bankruptcy once before. They need to revisit how they treat periodicals. Google's model is friendly, and that's why Android Tablets are getting subscriptions and the iPad is not. I think Apple would make more money with a 10% cut of subscriptions than the very poor sales numbers of individual issues at 30%. I like 52 copies of Entertainment Weekly for $20 a year... I'll put up with the magazine piling up before I drop $4 each on them for the iPad and spend $208 a year, which is $198 I could have spent elsewhere in the App Store. Oh wait, they don't offer Entertainment Weekly in the App store? Gee, can't imagine why. Same can be said for Time Magazine, commonly bought for $26 a year with a $4.99 cover price.

Apple just doesn't get it. Unlike music, movies, apps, etc. periodicals are DISPOSABLE media. It's not like a book I'll read again someday. For some of us, periodicals on a tablet are a huge draw to a device. It's in my top 5 "why I should buy" lists, and it's one of the things that has me holding off on the iPad. I look at a tablet not just as a bridge device, but a means to shrink physical things in my house.
Rating: 0 Votes
112 months ago
Let's hope Amazon & Audible get this crap worked out before iOS 5... I don't want to go Android :(
Rating: 0 Votes
112 months ago
Blech!

Who wants those lame "coloring book" magazines? It's just proof that those sad magazines are doomed.

On the other hand, I do not want to pay (via Apple) to keep the dinosaur media on life support. The faster the media conglomerates die, the better it is for all of us.
Rating: -1 Votes
112 months ago
The fact that needed to be any extensive negotiation speaks volumes. Publishers should be allowed to this, without ANY money-grubbing interference from Apple. This is an issue between the subscriber and the publisher - Apple needs to butt out.
Rating: -1 Votes

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