Time Inc. and Apple have had a longstanding relationship, which hasn’t always been the best. According to a report from AllThingsD, Time Inc has now negotiated and announced that they will begin to offer a number of their magazines through Digital Magazine subscriptions in Apple’s Newsstand. About 2 years ago, Time Inc. backed out of plans to introduced Sports Illustrated through Newsstand because they refused to follow Apple’s rule that the company bill customers through the iTunes Store billing method and instead opted to bill customers directly through their own service.
As a result, the deal fell through and was not brought up until now. Time Inc. mentioned in the press release that they are looking to introduce all 20 of their magazines through the Newsstand Digital Magazine model, a collection that includes magazines such as Time, People, and Fortune. Even though Time Inc. didn’t follow Apple’s digital magazine subscription, allowed print subscribers of their magazines to access the full issues on the iPad. This is the first time that Time will be working with Apple on subscriptions and will give up a portion of its new subscription revenue.
It still remains unclear what caused the two companies to hash out a deal, as noted by AllThingsD. However, it is likely that Apple showed that Time could benefit from their widespread user base and Time did the same with their reader base. It appears that in this deal, both companies have a chance to benefit one way or another.
It could be as simple as Time Inc. trying to boost sales, which haven’t been stellar recently — a slump at its People magazine title is particularly troublesome for the publisher. Or perhaps parent company Time Warner got some other concession from Apple for one of its other units, like HBO or Turner.
Pricing for the digital subscriptions via iTunes has not yet been announced, but will likely be similar in price to some titles that Time currently offers, such as Sports Illustrated which sells for a $3.99 monthly rate or a $38.99 annual rate. A portion of that money will go to Apple, which is what initially prevented Time from entering a deal with the Cupertino based company.