Image Source: Time Inc
It looks like Apple is making a little progress in its on-going negotiations with major print publishers and their support for iPad editions and subscription options. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Time Inc. will be begin offering free access to iPad editions for print subscribers to Time Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and Fortune.
Starting today, the iPad editions of the three magazines will support subscriber authentication and free access for print subscribers.
While that’s good news for current print subscribers, the not so good news is that there are still no subscription plans for these or other Time Inc iPad editions. Apparently the major sticking point is not Apple’s 30% cut on subscription plans, but rather their insistence that access to subscriber information is only provided on an opt-in basis.
I don’t think any of these mainstream magazine iPad editions are going to be successful until they come up with reasonable and attractive subscription plans. Let’s hope this small breakthrough with free access for print subscribers leads to more major movement from Time and other big publishers towards proper subscription models for their iPad titles.