Time Inc. reaches iPad deal with Apple; all iPad editions free for print subscribers

“Time Inc., the country’s largest magazine publisher, has reached a deal with Apple Inc. to make all its iPad editions free for print subscribers, marking a break in the impasse between publishers and Apple and lending support to Time’s contention that it’s business-as-usual after the ouster of its chief executive,” Russell Adams reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“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,” Adams reports. “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.”

Adams reports, “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. The standoff has left most magazines with only one way to sell titles on the iPad: one issue at a time, which publishers say is asking too much of readers, particularly of the weekly magazines that form the core of Time Inc.’s business.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote on April 4th: “With App Store subscriptions, Apple’s on the side of the consumer yet again. Anytime you read differently, it’s highly likely that it’s from a publication that wants to continue to be able to force your name, address, telephone number, email address, credit card number, credit card security code, job title, job responsibility, and industry from you at the time of subscription… Apple requires publishers to first ask for permission from customers who choose to subscribe to publications from within iOS apps (customers can also opt instead to subscribe directly via the publishers’ sites) to access the customers’ personal information… Apple’s App Store lets customers keep their information in one safe place, with Apple, not spread among X number of publishers, at the whim of their ‘security’ or lack thereof.”


  1. “… keep their information in one safe place, with Apple, not spread among X number of publishers, at the whim of their ‘security’ or lack thereof.”

    Not to mention reselling your information time and again.

  2. Get it together assholes. The consumer is sick of waiting around for years before using new tech while you assholes quibble and sue. Buy a print subscription just to get a decent price on the iPad version? Like asking me to buy a horse to pull a new car. No, I’ll just read something else thanks…or maybe check if magazine PDF’s are being Torrented yet!

  3. Magazines like Time are perfect for the iPad. It is a shame that they are dragging their heels because they do not want to lose their subscriber information.

    Eventually someone will come out with digital magazines that will work and sell well. It may not be from the traditional publisher since they are to able to innovate. We are still not at the tipping point and it is surprising how long it has taken to get there.

    Music, TV, movies, reading matter are all at the same point. They are afraid of losing their core business and will in all likelihood miss the boat for the next best thing in publishing.

    I look forward to the day(s) when:
    1. Musicians can get fair revenue from song sales. Bands don’t have to sign onerous contracts to publishers. Music is played on radio because they are good not because the content owner is paying for it.
    2. TV is truly a la carte. You can buy subscriptions to any TV channel (or even show). You are not limited to the offerings a distributor has chosen. All channels are in HD.
    3. Movies are available at a decent price for digital distribution. Subscription services are equally available for all distributors not just the once the content owners want to favor.
    4. Magazines are truly available online for either single buy or subscription at a fair price. We can buy want we want not because the content owner sells our information to anyone who wants it but because the content is compelling enough to purchase.

  4. Yo Apple! I don’t want to buy and manage separate apps for all my magazines. It’s preventing from getting ANY of them now. I want an “iMagazines” or some such digital newsstand where I can read them all in a unified interface and subscribe etc. elegantly. Like I can with music and movies with iTunes or books with iBooks.

    1. “Yo Apple! I don’t want to buy and manage separate apps for all
      my magazines.”

      Your message should be directed at publishers; not Apple. Apple is the one trying to get publishers to put magazines under the iTunes/iBooks eco-system; publishers are the ones making individual apps, trying to bypass Apple’s unified model.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.