People Magazine for Apple iPad first to be free to subscribers; Time, SI and Fortune up next

“Until now, the iPad versions of People, Time, Sports Illustrated and Fortune have cost the same as the newsstand price — $3.99 for each issue of People, $4.99 to $5.99 each for the rest — even if you were are already paying to get the paper edition in the mail,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

“That changed with this week’s People iPad app, which is, for the first time, free to People subscribers,” P.E.D. reports. “Fortune and the rest of Time Inc.’s flagship magazines are expected to adopt the same pricing structure within the next 30 days.”

P.E.D. reports, “Now that Apple has made it possible, other magazine publishers will presumably follow suit.”

Read more in the full article here.

Adage also covers the story and adds more info here.

MacDailyNews Take: Along with the content being no extra charge to current subscribers, the PEOPLE Magazine iPad app will let users buy each week’s special digital issue through Apple’s iTunes App Store. No more downloading individual apps for individual issues!

This is the bridge from physical to digital; let your physical subscriptions laspe. In-app purchasing is how digital magazines are supposed to work and it will help greatly aid the transition from ink on dead trees to lighting up iPad pixels.

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