New Yorker Launche on iPad highlights publications' concerns and mounting pressure on Apple

The New Yorker is launching an iPad version of the magazine tomorrow. The weekly magazine will be selling one issue at a time and there will be no subscription arrangement. Apple currently doesn’t allow subscriptions, for reasons, shared a little later.

But owing to the iconic nature of the magazine, the New Yorker iPad app launch has again highlighted the mounting pressure on Apple Inc. to give publishers a way to sell their magazines more than one digital issue at a time. As Executives from the New Yorker and its publisher, Condé Nast, are stressing that the true value of apps like the New Yorker's can't be realized until readers are allowed to purchase subscriptions.

What are Conde’ Naste’s key concerns regarding lack of subscriptions:

it prevents the Conde’ Naste to have long-term relationships with the consumers on iPad. The traditional publisher wants to give readers the option of paying for a premium subscription that includes access to the magazine in print, online and on devices like the iPad. As New Yorker is a weekly publication, the publication feels that it’s hard to get readers beyond single-copy sales; and fears that readers can be unwilling to download a new issue every week—and pay up each time.The same concerns were raised by Time Inc. recently, who tried to launch an app for Sports Illustrated with its own subscription offering, but Apple forced the publisher to withdraw its application.

Why is Apple reluctant to allow for subscriptions:

In simple, Apple doesn’t want to give publishers full access to names and other personal information about people who purchase their apps. Publishers value that information because it helps them sell advertising and sign up new readers.

Will Apple allow subscriptions:

If more traditional media, offer themselves on iPad, Apple will have to accede. But whether the arrangement will be profitable to publications initially is a remote possibility. But things will become better for publications eventually.

What tactics publications are adopting to get over the current limitations:

They are trying to make their offerings as attractive as possible. Like the New Yorker's iPad application, at $4.99 an issue, comes with many of the bells and whistles now familiar to readers of periodicals on the device: an animated cover(The cover of the issue animates so that users get a brush-by-brush recreation of a still-life by artist David Hockney, who painted it using the Brushes app on the iPad.), slideshows and bonus content including extra cartoons and a video guide to reading the issue featuring actor and avid New Yorker reader Jason Schwartzman. --------

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