Monday, May 9, 2011

Condé Nast updates its The New Yorker Magazine iPad app, introducing discounted in-app subscriptions, as well as free access for print magazine subscribers

The New Yorker, like other Condé Nast magazines with iPad apps, has issued an update this morning which will now allow readers to subscribe to the tablet edition from within the app, as well as allow print subscribers to sign into the accounts to access the issues for free.
The editors of the magazine posted an alert on the magazine's website informing readers of the updated app.

The last time we addressed you was to announce that The New Yorker would be available on the iPad—every Monday, wherever you happened to be. The reaction to our iPad app was instructive. Readers generally found it easy to use and beautiful to look at; they were delighted to know that they could get the magazine instantly, without thought to distance.

They were less delighted about one important point: they wanted to subscribe to the magazine on the iPad or to get access to their subscription if they had one already; until now, the only way to read the magazine on the iPad was to buy single issues, at single-issue prices.
The app itself, The New Yorker Magazine, remains a free download. The app opens up to the library allowing readers to buy individual issues for $4.99, or two subscription offers – $5.99 for one month, or $59.99 per year. (The New Yorker, of course, is a monthly magazine, producing 47 issues in a year.)
With the adoption of Apple's in-app subscription model, The New Yorker has also changed the way it will offer print subscriptions. The magazine's website now touts print plus digital access subscriptions. To get a new subscription to the magazine one would now pay $69.99 for an annual subscription, but this price would now include access to the iPad edition and the website.

Some media writers have said that the new app changes from major publishers such as Condé Nast represents a move towards the way Apple would like to see things. But really this is just giving the reader what the reader has been demanding all along: the same sorts of discounts for digital that publishers have been offering print readers for years. From this perspective, it is pretty clear that Apple was far more tuned into what media customers were saying than the publishers were. In the end it pays to read those negative App Store reviews and to not dismiss them out of hand.