September 27, 2023

The New Yorker Begins to Offer iPad Subscriptions

“Whether it’s in there,” he said, pointing to the magazine, “or on there,” pointing to the iPad, “is going to cost about a dollar under this plan. That’s what a song costs. A lot has gone into it. Imaginative effort, editorial footwork, fact-checking and copy editing, all at the highest level every week. All of that for the price of a song? Seems like a pretty good deal to me.”

Apple, which released the iPad last March, has been busy rounding up publishers to help make its tablet even more appealing to consumers. Last week, Hearst Magazines announced a deal for iPad subscriptions to some of its magazines that will begin in July and Time Inc. made an arrangement for subscribers to get some magazines free, but Condé Nast is the first major publisher to begin a subscription plan on the iPad for one of its magazines (previously readers had to download each issue individually).

And the iPad subscription offer is quite aggressive: $5.99 for one month (for four issues) and $59.99 for a full year. But even more surprising, a bundled version of print and digital subscriptions, is available for $6.99 a month, or $69.99 a year. (Current print subscribers can sign in to the iPad version at no additional charge.)

Subscriptions on the iPad to The New Yorker went on sale early Monday, and subscriptions for other Condé Nast magazines, including Vanity Fair, Glamour, Golf Digest, Allure, Wired, Self and GQ, will become available in the coming weeks. The Condé Nast-Apple deal was first reported in The New York Post last week.  

“We already have these applications in our store and the No. 1 bit of feedback that we have gotten from our customers, the one thing that everyone wants, is to be able to subscribe,” Mr. Cue said.

Condé Nast has traditionally gotten its magazines in the hands of consumers at a cheap price in the hopes of building up big rate bases, the number used to sell advertisers, and the deal with Apple is consistent with that advertising-first approach. Over time, the new tablet subscribers could be a boon to advertising now that the Audit Bureau of Circulations has ruled that digital subscribers can be counted toward the rate base. The bundled subscriptions could also help protect the legacy business by giving a boost to print subscriptions while selling many more digital ones — young people and international consumers are a particular target.

“In terms of the price, we are constantly examining what will work and decided that we wanted to make the initial offer as attractive as possible,” Mr. Sauerberg said.

It will come at a price. Although Condé Nast can sell digital subscriptions on its own Web sites, the vast majority of sales will take place in the Apple App Store, where nearly a third of the price will go to Apple (specific terms were not disclosed). In addition, the consumer data derived from app store sales will belong to Apple and shared as the company sees fit, although Mr. Cue said that “magazine publishers will know a lot more about subscribers on the iPad than they ever did about print subscribers.”

By teaming with Apple, Condé Nast and other publishers gain access to a database of 200 million credit card holders and a sales environment where billions of songs and millions of apps have already been sold. But the music industry lesson is one that is not lost on publishing. Apple may have “saved” the music industry, but it is a much smaller business with little control over its pricing.

“Of course, we have a very different perspective on that,” Mr. Cue said. “We didn’t shrink the music business, it was pretty shrunk by the time we came along. We have proven that people are willing to pay for content and that’s something people never believed would happen. Some people still don’t believe it.”

Condé Nast, which has often been cautious with the digital realm — for a long time many of its magazines didn’t have individual Web sites — has moved swiftly to be first to market with iPad subscriptions.

“If you are going to get thousands of readers that you didn’t have before, or maybe even hundreds of thousands of readers, you’d be foolish to complain about the work that went into coming up with something they found compelling on the iPad,” Mr. Remnick said. “It is a very big opportunity for a magazine like The New Yorker to find whole new audiences.”

Article source:

Speak Your Mind