iPad subscriptions: The Telegraph, Esquire, Popular Mechanics, The Oprah Magazine, Time, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated

iPad subscriptions: The Telegraph, Esquire, Popular Mechanics, The Oprah Magazine, Time, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated

A bunch of print newspapers and magazines seem to be finally jumping on board the iPad subscription train, including The Telegraph (UK), Heart properties including Esquire, Popular Mechanics, and O, The Oprah Magazine, and Time has somehow swung a deal to get existing Time, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated readers free access via iPad.

And, of course, Playboy is coming uncensored (my guess is web app, no iOS-handled subscriptions).

Meanwhile the launched-with-much-todo The Daily has reportedly gotten 800K downloads but is losing $10 million a month.

The big stumbling block was, is, and remains Apple's insistence that users opt-in to sharing their demographic data with publishers (while the publishers would prefer opt-out since they figure -- probably rightly -- few users will actively choose to share). Publishers have historically relied on demographics and marketing against them as a key revenue source. Another problem has been getting users to pay for content that they've gotten used to getting free on the web -- especially when publishers have asked fairly high prices (sometimes higher than print!)

So with more and more heavy hitters hitting the platform, but with everyone still struggling to figure out the business model, what does the future hold for iPad subscriptions? Do we need an iMags/iNews store like iBooks? Or is it just the wrong medium for an outdated message?

What will it take to get you to subscribe?

[FT, WSJ, WSJ, MediaMemo]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 11 comments. Add yours.

iArnie says:

I downloaded The Daily while the content was free. Didn't think it was worth paying for, so I deleted the app. They need to make it free again and generate income through ads. There is too much free content to pay anything for The Daily.

Yus says:

I think the Daily is great and value for money. I particularly value the feature that allows you to save articles indefinitely. Many magazines do not have this feature.

Sonny says:

Two things, 1. ability to schedule the specific time of the download to avoid bandwidth issues caused by large files and 2. the option to not have to receive the hard copy as well as the digital version.

S C says:

I won't be subscribing while it is cheaper to get a print subscription.
They should give the digital subscription with all print subscriptions and let
people transition over. Then offer a $9-10 digital only subscription upon renewal.

RagedUSMC says:

I subscribe to National Geographic print and they want you to pay for their iPad version as well which in my eyes its a little ridiculous.

Greg Foster says:

Sill waiting for a GQ subscription...

Winski says:

Models like the Daily, The Telegraph (UK), Heart properties including Esquire, Popular Mechanics, and O, The Oprah Magazine, Time, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated won't last long in the e-world.... The business model that comes from the 40's - 50's doesn't work here.. Ask Adrianna Huffington... SO, let them huf and puf until their balloons have crashed to the ground and their content is in apps like Huff Po and Zite....
IF folks like Rupert and his gang of greedy, sticky-figured siblings think that they can rule the content world and demand we pay them for their uniqueness - guess again...
Aggregation is easy... making it work is hard.. Ask Huffington or the Zite guys in Vancouver.... Bullies get beat - easily...

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