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Time Inc. Magazine Subscribers to Get Free iPad Subscriptions



The thing I hate most about digital goods is paying for the same content twice. For example, I pay for access many of the same movies on demand via Comcast and Netflix. Until now, People magazine subscribers had to pay once for a hard copy of the magazine and a second time for an iPad version. Adding insult to injury, they didn’t even get a break on the newsstand price. ¬†Starting this week, People magazine subscribers will be able to get the iPad version of the weekly magazine for free.

Time Inc. is expected to roll out a similar scheme to its other magazine titles, including Fortune, Time and Sports Illustrated, within a month. Apple isn’t allowing Time, or any other publisher, the ability to sign up for subscriptions in the App store.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. aftermath

    08/20/2010 at 12:06 pm

    This is a clever business tactic. It’s a great way of combining a core offering with a low cost, low demand, low revenue one to boost overall profits.

    You’ve conveyed the marketing department’s message: “Subscribe to People Magazine and get a free subscription to People Magazine on the iPad!” In reality, the business interpretation is that you are now buying both. This is great you’re suddenly “getting” more without an increase in price. It will stay great for as long as this lasts, but the it’s very unlikely that a price increase won’t be headed your way. When that happens, Time will re-brand this package deal as a “content passport” (the marketing message will have to change to justify the price hike.) It will be little more expensive because, let’s face it, it’s better. However, the big winner will be Time because now everybody will be paying more for their “content passport” even though most people won’t bother with both forms of the content. They’ll just pick one or the other. Once this happens, we’ll all be complaining about bundling and overcharging…

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