Apple has added a new section to iTunes that features magazines with issues that are published ahead of the print edition or other digital editions. Called Read Them Here First, the section currently features twenty magazines from Hearst publishing, including Cosmopolitan, Popular Mechanics, and Car and Driver. TechCrunch’s Darrell Etherington reports that the exclusivity window for new issues will vary by publication:
The exclusive arrangement varies by individual publication in terms of how far in advance you’ll be able to get the various Hearst titles compared to in print and from other online storefronts like Amazon’s Kindle marketplace, but each will be available at least a few days in advance, I’m told. Existing subscribers will get early access, as well as those signing up for the first time.
Hearst seems to have had a good deal of success with Newsstand for them to be willing to make this deal. With this arrangement, Apple gains a competitive advantage over rivals like Amazon, while also gaining an established position from which they can negotiate other such deals with publishers in the future should they decide to give this a try. Hearst is undoubtedly only the first publisher to make this sort of deal with Apple. Newsstand has been a boon for many publications, and it wouldn’t be surprising if more publications made deals like this one sooner rather than later.