Publishing to the iPad doesn’t exactly come with no risk. While consumers are quick to point out that they would rather get their news electronically these days, they don’t seem to be paying for the honor. Just yesterday, news circulated the Internet about Rupert Murdoch’s The Daily running at a $10 million loss in the first quarter.
With those kinds of losses, you would think that it may be difficult to convince other publishers to accept Apple’s terms for subscription models, making it difficult to bring a publication to the App Store, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Publishers still seem to be signing up, and gladly signing on the dotted line.
Another two publishers will be bringing digital versions of their publications to the iPad. Both Hearst and The Telegraph have signed on with Apple’s subscription model. This is pretty big news. Hearst is responsible for some pretty large publications, including The Oprah Magazine, Esquire, and Popular Mechanics.
So where does that leave us?
There has been quite the ebb and flow of popular opinion about subscription models, and whether or not publishers can afford to concede 30 percent of their profits to Apple for the right to publish on its App Store.
The fact that publishers continue to sign on — Time Inc. just signed a deal as well — is some indication that publishers think the cost associated with publishing on the App Store is well worth the trade offs.
I’m still not convinced that the iPad is the savior of publishing, but it’s certainly the first important step in a very long transition process for publishers. Getting people comfortable with getting their news in a digital format instead of delivered to their door in the morning is not something that is going to be easy. That being said, adoption of these kinds of technologies, whether it’s the iPad or something else, is an important first step in getting to where we need to be with content delivery in 2011.
Do you subscribe to any digital magazines on your iPad? Do you have a subscription going for your favorite publisher? If so, we’d love to hear what you think about it as a delivery mechanic. If not, what’s dissuaded you from transitioning to a digital medium?
Let us know in the comments below.