Apple and Time Inc. have finally reached a decision that will allow the magazine’s print edition subscribers to access the iPad versions of the same free of charge. This deal has been made after a month long cul-de-sac which in the beginning focused on paid subscriptions. Starting from Monday the subscribers to Fortune, Sports Illustrated and Time can read these magazines on their iPad by entering an unique authentication code.
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.
Apple has unrolled an in app subscription program in which 30% of all subscription income goes to the tech giant. But many publishers did not find the monetary terms to be fair. They said that they want full control over the subscribers’ personal information. While many newspapers have started to offer content under this program the magazines are hesitating a lot to follow suit due to this issue. Apart from The New York Times and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation this deal makes Time Inc. the first major publisher to accept Apple’s changed regulations for subscription in iOS apps. Bloomberg BusinessWeek also is in this list which introduced its iPad app last month with a $3 month subscription.
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.
Many magazines have an iPad edition now and one can’t jump to a conclusion that this system is totally unsuccessful. Most users are forced to purchase single issues of their magazines for their iPad in the absence of a subscription plan which is really pricey. This has led to the sales figures not looking very good for many publications.