“Time Inc is leading an industry-wide joint venture to create a digital store for magazines as a way for publishers to avoid surrendering their digital future to the likes of Amazon.com or Apple,” Kenneth Li reports for The Financial Times.
“The new service, as yet unnamed, would serve as a digital storefront for magazines, possibly newspapers and other publications and is expected to be announced in about a month,” Li reports. “The launch is planned for next year, people familiar with the plan said.”
“Time has held discussions with Conde Nast and Hearst about the venture. Time and Conde Nast declined to comment, and Hearst was not immediately reachable,” Li reports. “The business would be structured like Hulu, a popular online video service formed by NBC Universal, News Corp and Walt Disney. Founding publishers are expected to take equity stakes in the new entity and the venture is expected to be financed by its partners. Details of the arrangement have not been finalised, these people said.”
Li reports, “Publishers fear repeating the mistakes of the music industry, which delayed exploiting digital businesses until Apple created iTunes, now the world’s largest seller of digital music.”
“Time has held separate conversations with Apple about placing its magazines, such as People, Sports Illustrated and Fortune, on Apple’s upcoming tablet device,” Li reports. “It was unclear if or how the venture would work with other systems developed to address a need to charge consumers for content that has been given away for free online.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Hulu is strictly an ad-based setup, but Apple can offer that along with a few more things that nobody else can: Over 100 million active credit card accounts through iTunes Store and the ability to deliver in-app purchasing, something that just so happens to be perfect for magazine and newspaper subscriptions.