There’s been a lot of chatter about subscription-based magazines coming to the iPad in the near future. It could be the same case as for iPhone apps where we saw apps taking a full year to really get their legs going before exploding. Or, it could be that Apple’s digital Newsstand program is back on again. Some developers and major publications have been reluctant to adopt the iPad as a legitimate news delivery medium, but things are starting to change.
In the last month we’ve heard that Rupert Murdoch is brining the aptly titled Daily to the iPad, Richard Branson has released Project, and now the Guardian has announced a subscription-based news app.Not to mention, Wired, New Yorker, and other Conde Naste publications are already on the iPad, as well as a whole slew of other publications.
So the question remains: is Apple’s Newsstand just around the corner, and is that the reason that Rupert Murdoch, along with Apple, has delayed the release of the Daily iPadzine?
According to TUAW, Jonathon Moore, the mobile product manager at The Guardian, has said “We’ll be launching the new app globally for the first time and although we can’t confirm exactly when it will be available, we’re working towards a pre-Christmas release.” Those estimates from Moore are right alongside of the original estimates from Rupert Murdoch. A lot of people have been hearing that there will be a surprise announcement on December 9th from Apple that will focus on a news subscription service in time for the holidays. It’s just rumors at this point, but given the amount of major publishers that seem to suddenly be interested in releasing an iPad app, and the volume of publications scheduled to be released at the same time, it sure adds fuel to the speculative fire.
Apple’s Newsstand may be on again, despite earlier rumors that the project was on hold due to a lack of interest from major publishers. All Things Digital has reported today that Apple and publishers may sill be miles apart on a pricing scheme that’s fair for both companies. As reported earlier this year at Macgasm, the publishers are still wanting to hold on to subscribers’ personal data, and Steve Jobs still won’t let them. All Things Digital is reporting that the offer on the table from Apple includes:
- The ability to sell app subscriptions through iTunes
- 70 percent of the revenue from each sale would go to the publishers
- The ability to offer an opt-in form for subscribers that would ask them for a limited amount of information: Name, mailing address, email address.
It’s the same offer that we reported back on September 21st (news that was based on a Wall Street Journal article), so either All Things Digital’s informant is out of the loop, or Apple and the publishers are stuck in one heck of a stalemate; both of the cases could be possible.
So where are we at? Something is obviously brewing between Apple and publishers, and the iPad seriously needs a subscription model that would bring automatic in-app updates (over the air preferably) for publishers. Having to tether my iPad to my Mac to update, or manually downloading a new magazine update manually every single time I want to update my New Yorker magazines is getting old pretty quick. If Apple’s fixing the problem, and publishers get on board quickly, the iPad could reach a whole new level and increase their adoption rates.
I’m ready to do away with paper magazines and newspapers, are you?