There’s been lots of talk lately about how Apple and magazine publishers have been in deep discussions over the ability to sell subscriptions on the iPad, and the proposed launch of an Apple Newsstand, similar to the App or iTunes store, for selling periodicals. According to All Things Digital, however, that ain’t gonna happen too soon given that Apple and magazine publishers can’t agree on the terms.
The sticking points are Apple’s royalty terms–Apple wants to do a 70/30 split, taking the smaller portion, which publishers still think is too much–and, more importantly, Apple’s unwillingness to share credit card info, which magazine publishers use to bundle print and digital subscriptions. Instead, Apple is willing to give publishers “The ability to offer an opt-in form for subscribers that would ask them for a limited amount of information: Name, mailing address, email address,” according to All Things Digital.
Apple’s terms have apparently been on the table for a couple of months, and none of the publishers are biting. So, once again, the salvation of publishing depends on Apple’s tough dealmaking and publishers clinging to old models, not that the new ones are any surer to work…
Yesterday, the New York Times reported on Gawker’s plans to change the way it lays out its blogs in order to focus more reader attention on the most important stories of the day. The changes, which will go into effect in 2011 and are demonstrated in the above video, allow Gawker to curate and control which content is featured rather than simply using chronology to determine which story is on top, adopting some ideas from print periodicals and others from various kinds of computing technology, such as email clients like Apple’s Mail and Outlook. Gawker founder Nick Denton explains the changes and the reasoning behind them at great length on the blog LifeHacker.
Check out the video above–what do you think of the changes? Is it time for blogs to evolve from big lists to designed publications? And does this kind of rethinking have implications for how we think about books on screens? Might there be other ways of presenting books?
Today, Kobo, the e-reader company formerly known as Shortcovers, announced that it would now sell magazines and newspapers through its store in addition to e-books. Starting today, these periodicals will be available for purchase and reading not only on Kobo’s e-reader device, but also through its apps for various mobile devices. Kobo is also offering a free two-week trial subscription for periodicals.
This news follows Amazon’s announcement last week that it would make periodicals sold through the Kindle store available on its apps as well as on the Kindle device itself. Previously, periodicals were only available on the Kindle device.
Here is the list of U.S. and Canadian publications currently available on the Kobo platform:
The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Scientist, The Seattle Times, Wilson Quarterly, Foreign Affairs, American Scholar, China International Business, Columbus Dispatch , Guideposts, Harvard Business Review, National Review, New York Observer, PC Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Reason, The Christian Science Monitor Daily Briefing, The Nation,Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, National Post, Ottawa Citizen, Regina Leader-Post, Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, Vancouver Province, Vancouver Sun, Victoria Times-Colonist, and The Globe & Mail
AppleInsider has a surprising report this morning: Apple is apparently blocking magazine publishers from selling subscriptions within apps through the App store. Why? Folks at Time Inc., whose Sports Illustrated subscription app was rejected, are perplexed and “‘have been going nuts’ in an attempt to get Apple to approve subscription plans,” according to the story. Obviously, magazine publishers were deeply hopeful about the potential for subscriptions on the iPad, so this news must come as a tough blow. We’ll follow the story to see if and how it resolves.