Apple Setting Up Newspaper and Magazine Subscriptions for iPad?

Something that a lot of the media outlets (both all digital outfits and converted to digital from more traditional print media) have wanted from Apple and the iPad is the ability to create a subscription type model for their publications. Indeed this is something that Rupert Murdoch, a recent convert to the “Church of Jobs”, is spending serious time sucking up to Apple’s top brass to get for his various publications.

It seems that Apple has had many of these kinds of services on hold as it struggles to keep manageable the sometimes unstable tower of new technology and services it is pushing out every few months.

Most recently Apple has relaxed a lot of its App Store guidelines, and opened up the App Store review guidelines for all the world to comment on. Not to mention adding an App Store Review Board, for app Rejection Appeals. Apple seems to have even relaxed restrictions for Flash on iDevices.

Apple ticked off yet another job on their “todo” yesterday with the release of a unified iOS Beta for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad: iOS 4.2. And even added yet more new, and compelling features like AirPrint to it’s mobile OS.

And following on from that it is being reported by various newspapers that they are in talks with Apple to produce iPad app versions of their publications targeted at subscribers. Apple is expected to take 30% of these subscription model packages as its cut, and a further 40% from iAd Revenue germinated from those publications.

It occurs to me that AirPrint is a rather timely OS feature. Because if we all get newspapers on our devices we can print copies out to read, or to give to friends! I wonder if anyone has thought of that? It also occurs to me that using “Air” in any iOS apps or Apple related products could be difficult in future. But I digress..

One big bone of contention between magazines, newspapers and Apple has always been the rules around collecting user data. User data is the holy grail of any kind of targeted, ad laden media. As we all know! The rub there is that Apple has insisted on allowing users to opt out of this kind of data harvesting if they like. Chalk one up for us, the consumer, there.

Perhaps one day you’ll be reading me writing for Touch Reviews, on an iPad!

Are you interested in newspapers and magazines being delivered to your iPad, rather than your doorstep? What would you pay for this kind of product? Have your say in the comments…


5 Comments on “Apple Setting Up Newspaper and Magazine Subscriptions for iPad?”

  1. Digital Magazines

    Like Lothar has commented already, Apple taking 30% of all subscriptions sales through the iPad means that publishers are having to charge more for their iPad subscriptions than they do for their normal web based digital subscriptions (which would work on the iPad anyway if Apple hadn’t banned Flash from it’s devices).

    This means that users aren’t receiving the main benefit of the digital magazine format – it’s price. The whole point of the digital format is that publishers don’t have to pay for printing and distribution and therefore can afford to sell digital subscriptions a lot cheaper. This 30% commission is like a digital equivalent to these costs and is doing no favours to the growth of this relatively new format.

    If publishing on the iPad wasn’t so costly, I’m sure we’d see a much larger range of magazine titles available and consequently a bigger surge in people taking out digital subscriptions.

  2. Lothar

    why does Apple have to get 30%? that is more than the savings from print and distribution costs and will make an i-pad subscription more expensive than a mail or door delivery subscription. Sort that out and I will subscribe for i-pad versions of everything I now get by mail.

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