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Magazine worry about Apple iPad subscription deals

In a story profiling the apparent frustration of publishers with the iPad, The New York Times notes that the ongoing development of a new application subscription feature through Apple's App Store was apparently the reason The Daily, a new tablet-only newspaper from media giant News Corporation, was delayed from an anticipated launch this week. "It is expected that magazines will eventually have an arrangement similar to the one News Corporation has with Apple that allows for iPad subscriptions," author Jeremy W. Peters wrote. "But no such deals have been struck yet with Conde Nast, Hearst or Time Inc., said people close to discussions with Apple that were intended to be private."

In the meantime, magazine publishers must make due with the existing pay-per issue approach, which has thus far frustrated their efforts to fully capitalize on the booming tablet market that some industry watchers expect to explode into a 50 million unit business this year. Consumers have thus far shown a reluctance to pay newsstand premiums for digital copies of magazines on the App Store, such as the $4.99 per-issue charged for the weekly publication The New Yorker. That translates to more than $250 a year to read the magazine on the iPad, well above print subscription rates for a digital product with only a fraction of the overhead to produce.

In addition, in the case of most magazines on the App Store, consumers must manually fetch each new issue and purchase it individually rather than have it delivered to their iPad automatically. That similarly doesn't bode well for magazine publishers, who generate the bulk of their revenues off yearly subscriptions rather than impulse buys. Learn to Convert MKV to iPad..

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