It’s starting to look like corporate sponsorship of news publications might just be part of the future. Adobe has picked up the tab for May’s edition of Wired so you don’t have to.

For the next 30 days you’re able to download Wired’s May edition for free in the application as an in-app purchase. According to Ad Age Wired has publicly noted that they’re not interested in doing this kind of thing on a regular basis, instead hoping that readers will pay for content.

Surely it’s a sticky situation, and it’s going to take a while before readers are re-conditioned to believe that paying for news is a noble pursuit. Richard Branson’s Project had a recent edition of their iPad magazine sponsored by American Express, so Wired isn’t alone in the approach.

The question that arises is what concessions are being made, if there are any. Is it a simple sponsorship, or are corporations getting demographic information, or other particulars from the readership? We’re speculating, obviously, but we find it hard to believe that a company like American Express, or in Wired’s case Adobe, aren’t benefitting from the sponsorship in some way. Wired, and Conde Naste in general, have been working closely with Adobe for these digital magazines, so it makes sense that it would be a straight up sponsorship in this case. But, it’s still a question worth asking as we move into the future of publishing: is there any place for corporate sponsorships of publications in the media world? Is there a conflict of interest here? Or, is it simply how things will play out in the future?

We don’t have the answers, but I can tell you this much, I just downloaded the Wired magazine, which is something I haven’t done since the last free edition. Clearly free works.

So what’s new in the May edition?

The Wired application lets readers push articles to Twitter and Facebook, allowing friends to see the articles in much the same way as The Daily articles, on a walled off website.

They’ve also added ‘buy now’ buttons to their reviews and product articles so that readers can buy stuff on the fly instead of having to go and track stuff down online later.

If you ask us, it sounds like these big players are trying to recreate the culture of blogs in such a way that users are willing to pay for it. If that’s the case, we commend them. We wouldn’t mind getting paid for what we do either.

Note: The May edition isn’t available yet on the Canadian App Store, so you may need to give it some time before it appears.

Article Via Ad Age