Free iPad content for Time, Fortune subscribers
Apple and Time bury half a hatchet
Apple and Time Inc., have inked a pact that allows subscribers of hard-copy rags published by the largest magazine flogger in the US to freely download digital copies of those same issues onto their Cupertinian fondleslabs.
Beginning Monday, subscribers to Time's flagship Sports Illustrated, Time, and Fortune will be able to download copies of current issues for free using those titles' iPad apps, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
Previously, subscribers who wanted digital versions had to pay for them separately – that is, in addition to their subscription fees for hard-copy issues. This limitation was wildly unpopular with readers, who gave the Sports Illustrated, Time, and Fortune iPad apps overwhelmingly negative reviews.
"If you already have a subscription to the magazine you still have to pay – crazy!" wrote one reviewer of the Fortune app, adding "What world do y'all live in?"
That world has become more rational, now that those Time Inc. iPad apps will include the ability for subscibers to verify their subscription status and download magazine content directly onto their iPads – an ability that Time Inc.'s People Magazine iPad app has had since last August.
When the People deal was announced, a "source close to the project who spoke off the record" told Fortune that similar deals would be offered through Time Inc.'s flagship mags within 30 days. It took a bit longer than that, as it turned out.
Between the People announcement and the granting of the same abilities to Sports Illustrated, Time, and Fortune came Apple's initiation of subscription guidelines that require content publishers to sell content only through Apple's in-app purchasing system, and to pay Apple 30 per cent for the privilege of doing so.
The new guidelines don't only apply to magazine and newspaper content – they also apply to music-subscription services, a fact that received quick criticism from music sites such as Rhapsody and Last.fm – and which prompted the co-founder of the latter to somewhat indelicately comment in an IRC chat that "apple just fucked over online music subs for the iphone."
Apple's imposition of subscription guidelines, which don't go into effect until June 30, also remove a content provider's ability to interact directly with its digital subscribers, and thus not obtain their lucrative personal information – a loss that undoubtedly still remains part of the negotiations between Apple and Time Inc.
The current agreement between Apple and Time Inc. to allow the magazine giant's current subscribers to obtain digital content through the iPad apps doesn't solve the digital subscription–only conundrum – that is, no announcement has yet to be made whether users of Time's iPad apps can subscribe to those magazine's within the apps.
Whether Apple and Time Inc. can come to an agreement over such digital-only subscriptions, whether Apple's cut will remain that hefty 30 per cent, and whether Time Inc. will get access to digital-subscriber demographic info still remains to be resolved.
Stay tuned – there are still two months of negotiating time before Apple's new subscription guidelines kick into effect. ®
"FREE" subscriptions because Apple will sell your Data!
I've said it before and will say it again. All of this location data that Apple & Google are collecting is pure "effin" gold to anyone in the advertising or retail business.
Imagine what the marketing Asshats would pay to know who you are, where you live and travel every minute of every day, couple that data with Google Street View data as to what building you just entered, how much money you spent, on what specifically (from Near Field Comm data and your bank), etc etc etc.
Figure for each "qualified" lead, data this reliable is probably worth a few hundred dollars per head especially if you only ask for those people making $100,000 and up.
Here's how this works, target "A" has gross income of $ 185K, visits Starbucks at 7:45 AM, spends average $ 10.95, takes Cab "?" to work at 1 Rich Guy Plaza, arrives at 8:45 AM, buys Orvis Flyfishing stuff online worth $ 385 at 9:15 AM, goes to Fancy Scmanzy restraunt at 11:45 pays $125 for lunch with the Mistress, bingo, you sell the same sales lead info to competing coffee company, sporting goods company and new high end restraunt company so they can email target "A" direct competing offers WITHOUT having to shotgun ad's all over town to losers who can't afford their products. Oh, by the way since he takes a cab, the BMW dealer sends him a "special financing offer" they would not send anyone else.
Oh, and now it's about magazine subscriptions too!
@Dan, apply the tin foil hat now
Ignore the fact that this article is about magazine subs, and go into full on paranoia.
Apple don't know how much money I make. Apple don't know how I spend my money. At the most, Apple know where I am, occasionally, assuming I'm viewing some adverts in an app.
My phone knows where I am all the time. Apple don't, unless I'm using an app that sends geolocation info back to them (eg, an iAds supported app).
Re: don't understand this
It's simple to understand: Time, Inc. over-dramatised their reaction to Apple's new policy as Apple being a greedy beast, while all the time their main concern was that they couldn't get a hold of new customer's personal information for additional monetization.
Some other enterprises came to terms with it some time ago, and they've been taking advantage of in-app subscriptions to the great convenience of their users. It just took this long for Time, Inc. to do so.
While The Register keeps talking about "negotiations" between Apple and the publisher, there's every indication that Time, Inc. *needed* to maintain itself relevant and just capitulated. The WSJ article mentions that their last CEO was ousted by the board, which prompted a mass exodus of employees that has only recently been assuaged. This gives credence that Time, Inc. may not be in a very strong position to negotiate.
Additionally, from the article we get this gem, highlighting the actual cross between Apple and Time, Inc.:
"Time Inc. and other major publishers have yet to agree with Apple on terms for selling subscriptions to their iPad editions, the next step beyond making them available to existing print subscribers. Talks are hung up on Apple's resistance to sharing information with publishers about their iPad customers, which publishers say is critical to applying the "TV everywhere" model to magazines."
App pricing must be a very hard business
"This limitation was wildly unpopular with readers, who gave the Sports Illustrated, Time, and Fortune iPad apps overwhelmingly negative reviews."
And no one predicted that. People are just so fickle...
Yes - same applies to The Times/Sunday Times.
But has always puzzled me why The Economist is prepared to ship me 52 issues of their magazine for only £3 per annum more than digital only.