Monday, May 16, 2011

Condé Nast launches four new iPad apps that incorporate Apple's in-app subscription buying model

Those iTunes reviews, as rough as they sometimes are, have at least been consistent. But while many publishers have been trying to ignore them, all they have ended up doing was damaging their brands. So what do iPad owners want from magazine publishers? Not to be ripped off – it's as simple as that.
iPad owners are not a dumb lot, they can see that if one wants to subscribe to a print magazine the circulation department will be more than happy to sell you a subscription at a steep discount. So it hasn't helped the reputation of the publishing community to see that many publishers have wanted to stick it to iPad owners. Well, the strategy hasn't worked. Some have blamed Apple, others iPad owners, but it has been the poor tablet strategy that should have been blamed instead.

Now some of the major publishers are coming around. Condé Nast, for instance, has been launching new iPad apps for its titles that finally offer the reader a real deal. Released today are new apps for Vanity Fair, Allure, Glamour and Golf Digest. Each app is free download and are essentially the same as previous apps except in how they handle in-app purchases.
Now readers have three options for buying the latest edition of Vanity Fair, for instance. An iPad owner can simply buy the latest issue at $4.99, just as they have in the past. Or they can buy a one month subscription at $1.99 – this subscription is self-renewing, but can be cancelled at any time. A one year subscription now costs $19.99 – the same rate the publisher is offering the dead tree edition for on the Vanity Fair website (or through other outlets such as

It may not be a bigger discount, but at least iPad owners shouldn't feel ripped off. Now why this has taken so long is a bit of a mystery, but at least it is progress.