AppleLogoMagazines

Breaking: Apple announces digital magazine subscription model

Apple announced the terms of their new digital magazine subscription model yesterday in an agreement with app developer and digital publisher Texterity, which they posted on their web site last night. It clears up a number of concerns to the publishing industry, and finally clears the hurdle for existing subscribers of print content not having to pay again for a digital version of the same magazine.

From the Texterity Web Post:

Publishers can sell print subscriptions, and offer “digital companion” access through an app as long as there is no additional fee for those subscribers. It’s a way to offer another incentive for print subs to stay loyal and engaged.
Martin Hensel, founder and president of Texterity, explained further:
“Apple wants the [in-app purchase] process to be an equivalent option equally presented,” he says. “So a person can go to Apple and have a one-click purchase or go to the publisher and purchase, so that does not foreclose the publisher from collecting [customer] data. It just puts Apple on equal footing with them.”
There are follow up discussions taking place to clarify if publishers can offer incentives to persuade customers to choose the usually more involved subscription process in favor of the one-click iTunes subscription. Another unresolved sticking point was the fact that demographics and email addresses were not going to be shared by Apple, but it seems that this stance is easing. While Apple will still not provide demographic information for these subscribers, the email address is by far the most valuable piece of information for publishers.
First, we were concerned that we would get no demographic information. That is mostly true. We’ll get an email address, however. That’s a big help and a step forward. It allows us to give that subscriber access to a digital edition as well as an app.
Another item of interest to Polymash is the ability to sell memberships to associations and related services therein within an app. It seems there is some clarity on this emerging:
Association publishers are also allowed to deliver their content through apps. Apple does not want to be in the business of selling anything other than digital content, and an association sells membership, which includes a magazine in digital and/or print form, but also includes much more.
Ultimately this is a long awaited development, and Apple is taking a less tough stance than many had expected.