Apple has announced a new subscription service available to all publishers of content-based apps on the App Store, including magazines, newspapers, video, and music. Since launching iTunes, Apple has stayed with the "newsstand model" where users bought single issues of published content, but the new subscription model will allow for weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly, and yearly subscriptions.
In a move that shortly follows the launch of Rupert Murdoch’s iPad newspaper The Daily, Apple's clearly hoping to motivate publishers to create more dedicated content for the iPad. Many major US newspapers and magazines have created digital versions of their publications as print advertising revenue and circulation continue to decline.
The App Store should streamline the subscription process and make it easier for people to commit to a periodical—I know I like the familiar, simplified experience of shopping via the App Store.
Still, publishers will have to weigh their potentially expanded customer base against that 30 percent cut Apple takes. While publishers can continue to sell subscriptions on their own sites (as long as it's not cheaper), anything sold through the App Store will be subject to Apple's 30% revenue share.
I can definitely imagine subscribing to an app that's specifically designed to take advantage of everything the iPad has to offer and includes links to other digital content (something that's more like Flipboard, for instance), but I don't think I'll ever replace my morning paper or guilty-pleasure magazines with bits and bytes. What about you?
Image via Apple