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.
“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.”
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.
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.