After some very good news a few days ago about iPad subscription plans coming for many leading magazine titles, there is also some bad news this week on this front. Time Inc. – publishers of Time Magazine, Sports Illustrated, People, and many other mainstream titles – has decided not to offer iPad subscriptions for its titles.
And it looks like the sticking point for Time is not so much Apple’s cut of subscription revenue, but their refusal to let publishers have access to subscribers’ information without users opting in and allowing this.
"We have chosen not to do that," Mr. Sachs said in an interview, "because when we look at who to partner with, the key parts of our principles include of course making sure that the look and feel of products is great for consumers and the ability to set pricing terms, but also receiving key consumer data about subscribers."
I think that letting users choose whether they wish to share information with publishers is a good policy, and I’m glad Apple is sticking to their guns on this one. Other major publishers who have started offering iPad subscription plans are optimistic that they can entice users to share information by offering extra content or similar incentives. This seems a fair approach and I hope Time and others can find ways to work within the App Store policies.