If the iPad is supposed to be the future of publishing, you’d expect a subscription based model here or there right? Well apparently not. If you’re curious as to why publications like Wired and Men’s Health sell individual issues at higher than average prices, it’s because they’re unable to adopt a subscription model.
Razorian Fly writes,
According to Time Inc, who reportedly submitted a version of their iPad publication ‘Sports Illustrated’ just a few weeks ago, Apple rejected the application due to it having a subscription based model, forcing the company to sell single copies of the publication.
Quoting Peter Kafka MediaMemo,
“So what happened? – The Time Inc. insiders I talked to don’t have a clear answer, presumably because they can’t get one from Apple itself. One theory: Apple is concerned about the publisher’s plans for the consumer data it would collect with each subscription. A darker one: Steve Jobs loves the idea of digital magazines and wants to control the market for himself.”
It’s not just the publishers who want subscriptions: reviews for magazines like Sports Illustrated are overwhelmingly negative as users are dissatisfied with the $4.99-per-issue price on the App Store. Currently, out of 147 reviews, 97 users have given the magazine’s application one star. The average review is two stars.
I really love the digital content that’s being developed and distributed through the App Store - magazines like Wired and Popular Mechanics are awesome reads. I don’t see a problem with a subscription based service as long as the customer is aware of what they’re subscribing to, and as long as they pay the upfront cost upon downloading the app.