Newsweek for iPad now has in-app subscriptions

Newsweek for iPad

Newsweek has released an iPad application that has a major differentiating factor compared to other magazines’ iPad editions: in-app subscriptions. While the app itself is free to download, reading Newsweek issues inside it isn’t. The price for one issue is $2.99, a three-month subscription goes for $9.99 and a six-month subscription will set you back $14.99. Users of the iPad app will get access to new issues two days before their release on newsstands and the purchases are made inside the app itself.

This feature is powered by Apple’s in-app purchasing system that was recently made available to publishers. The reason it hasn’t yet got more traction seems to be linked to a strange limitation that Apple baked into it: it doesn’t let publishers gather information about their subscribers (information which may help them get new readers and advertisers). The exact reasoning behind this is unclear, but it has kept other publishers from adopting the platform. Another thing Apple’s system doesn’t allow at this point is for digital subscriptions to be bundled with paper subscriptions. These shortcomings have led to the current state of affairs, where most magazines release a new app with each issue.

Apple is reportedly planning on working closer with magazines on subscriptions, but when or how that will happen remains to be seen.

Download Newsweek for iPad from iTunes



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