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Apple blocking iPad magazine subscription deals?

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Wednesday, July 28, 2010
News Categories: Apple, iPad, iPhone, Apps + Games, iPod

Apple is to blame for the current lack of iPad magazine subscription options, according to a new report. AllThingsD reports that Time Inc. was planning to launch a subscription version of its Sports Illustrated iPad app with payments being handled by the publisher, until Apple rejected the application at the last minute, forcing Time to sell single copies as in-app purchases. Notably, a number of the app’s negative reviews mention the lack of a subscription option. The report states that Time executives “have been going nuts” trying to find a way to get Apple to approve a subscription plan. In addition, Apple reportedly approved the company’s subscription plans prior to the iPad’s launch, during a time when Apple was communicating with Time executives. As the report notes, no other magazine publisher has gained approval to sell its own iOS app subscriptions, either.

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Comments

1

iPad magazine subscriptions (iSubscriptions?) could be a huge revenue generator, so for Apple to be “blocking” this there has to be an explanation buried in the details behind the scenes (i.e. $$$$). For all we know, Apple is willing to do this for a cut of the action, and the holdup is due to how much of the pie Apple should get.

Electronic magazine subscriptions won’t sell nearly as many iPads as iPads will sell subscriptions, so who’s in the driver’s seat here?

Posted by rockmyplimsoul on July 28, 2010 at 11:47 AM (PDT)

2

What about “Wired”‘s app? I have been able to buy the magazine right from the app they put out….I have Zinio’s magazine as well….There’s got to be more to the story….

Posted by Steve on July 28, 2010 at 12:09 PM (PDT)

3

It’s the advertisements that’s the issue.  Magazine’s use revenue from advertisements to pay for the articles they produce, but Apple wants advertisements to go through them which leaves the actual magazine relying on the price itself to cover all costs.  Since the actual paper product is removed from this vessel it shouldn’t be that big of an issue unless the their are contracts involved with certain advertisements.

Posted by JT on July 28, 2010 at 3:45 PM (PDT)

4

I think WIRED’s and Popular Science’s offerings are those in-app single-issue purchases that Apple does allow. Zinio, on the other hand, does allow access to full digital subscriptions—with ads—paid for outside the Apple ecosystem. I purchased a subscription to Motorcyclist magazine AFTER I got the Zinio iPad app. Why does Apple treat them differently?

Posted by Woody on July 28, 2010 at 6:22 PM (PDT)

5

As much as I love my Apple products, I really dislike the company.

Posted by Nathan on July 28, 2010 at 8:56 PM (PDT)

6

Once Android Tablets releases like the Galaxy Tab in Oct, Magazine publisher can just publish on the Android platform .

Posted by John on July 28, 2010 at 10:11 PM (PDT)

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