Consuming media on the iPad is extremely easy. We have books, high quality videos, and countless applications to make the iPad an ever-growing platform. Unfortunately, magazines really haven’t taken off because Apple isn’t allowing publishers to sell subscriptions. Although Apple hasn’t changed its stance on that yet, Time Inc. is taking it upon itself to remedy the situation.
Starting with People magazine, with Sports Illustrated and Fortune to follow this month, print subscribers will get free access to the iPad versions. (An anonymous source also indicates that other Time Inc. titles will follow.)
This move is great for customers, but publishers are stuck between a rock and a hard place, since they still cannot sell standalone iPad subscriptions.
No trees will be saved in this current model, but I’m glad that Time is circumventing Apple’s restriction. I hope more publishers adopt this model and urge Apple to see the error in its ways and change its policies. In the interim, users have to go to the publishers’ websites and subscribe from there, or purchase individual editions of digital magazines.