September 16, 2010
Are Subscriptions Coming to iPad?
The iPad promised a lot of things. Many of those promises it has lived up to, or even blown out of the water. Web browsing on the device is super natural, and most owners would tell you this is the number 1 thing they use their iPad for. One promise it has not yet lived up to though, is that of changing the newspaper and magazine industries as we know them. What has stopped great periodical apps from making their way to the market, and how might this be changing? Read on to find out.
The first problem newspapers and magazines have been met with is the lack of subscription pricing abilities in the App Store. This has meant that, for the life of the App Store, if you wanted to make a really slick newspaper or magazine app that people would enjoy, you would also need to get them to repurchase it every time you came out with a new issue. A few magazines, including Popular Mechanics, tried the model and had some success with it. But not great success, and it certainly never revamped the industry. What they needed was a way to have people sign up for the Apps just like they do the papers. People need to be able to pay a one time fee to get the paper for a period of time, or a slightly higher per-issue cost and receive it issue by issue. It needs to be quick, just like an App Store purchase, and it needs to be easy and accessible. The newspapers and magazines have been saying it since day one, to seemingly no avail, but it looks like things might finally be getting ready to change.
John Boudreau of MercuryNews.com reported yesterday that Apple may have plans to announce subscription plans to developers, giving them the ability to make a high quality newspaper app that could actually work, giving them another chance at revolutionizing the paper news industry. Apple has not yet commented on the matter (and basically never comment on rumors anyway) but would, of all companies, understand the need for a certain pay model for a specific industry. Don’t forget, Apple revolutionized the music (and to a great extent video) industry with iTunes and its pay per song model, and could very well do it again. Just like when they came into the music industry, they’ve got a market dominating device, and a dying industry willing to do whatever it can to revitalize sales. Hopefully they can make newspaper and magazine subscriptions sexy again, as the potential for both huge profits and useful, cool apps are incredibly high.
Do you think Apple can do it? Do you think they’ll even try? Would you get magazine or newspaper subscriptions on your tablet? Tell us below!
Source – MercuryNews