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Sports Illustrated subscriptions live for Android, not iPad

updated 12:45 pm EST, Fri February 11, 2011

Time starts subscriptions on Android first

Time Inc. today took digital subscriptions live today for Sports Illustrated. Along with the earlier webOS plans, it now has both a web edition of the service as well as Android editions for smartphones and tablets. The initial Android apps support Samsung's Galaxy and Galaxy Tab devices first but should expand later.

It's not clear if the service has automatic delivery outside of the web, but Time has promised flexible subscription options. Purely digital subscriptions will cost $4 per month; print users get a discount, however, and will pay the same rate if they pay for an annual $48 subscription that includes both services. Existing print subscribers will get access for free for the rest of their current terms.

More subscriptions, such as Fortune and People, are expected in the future.

The platform conspicuously omits Apple. While Sports Illustrated is available on the iPad, it currently doesn't support subscriptions and isn't expected to get support until at least an official update due sometime later. Time hasn't said if it would adopt Apple's system and might be hesitant due to the requirement to give Apple a 30 percent cut of royalties of subscription rates that would already be lower than usual.

Publishers have so far been mixed on Apple, in part because its refusal to supply customer information to target advertising and its new ban on offering purchases solely outside of iTunes have been more restrictive. Apple has argued that it's protecting privacy through the lack of subscriber data but hasn't challenged accusations that it's primarily trying to discourage the existence of competing stores.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: Jan 2008

    +3

    I just don't understand...

    Why is it these media moguls think that they can continue to use the same rules and have the same results when dealing with a completely different paradigm?

    I'm not saying Apple is right or entitled to their method, but it seems a bit more enticing than being tied into some printed subscription I'm never going to read, in a pricing method I don't want.

    /

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Nov 2009

    -3

    Hmmm


    That's interesting.

  1. DerekMorr

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2010

    -3

    huh?

    pairof9s, I don't understand your comment. How is SI using "the same rules" (as print?) ?

    I see nothing enticing for publishers about being forced to give a third-party a 30% cut. Certainly, if a publisher wants to outsource the payment and subscriber management services to Apple, they should be able to, and Apple would charge for those services (but a 30% cut seems outrageously high). But many content providers value their subscriber databases and don't want a third-party depriving them of it. It's not at all surprising that SI is skipping Apple devices for now. I expect more content providers to do so in the future.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -4

    Re: I just don't understand...

    Why is it these media moguls think that they can continue to use the same rules and have the same results when dealing with a completely different paradigm?

    How is the paradigm 'completely different'? It's the same content, coming to you in the same period of time. The only 'difference' is whether it's digital or print.

    And about the same rules/results part. Apple isn't helping any of this either. Most people start whining that digital should cost less than print (due to lack of all that printing) and start whining because it's real simple and easy to deliver. But Apple's 30% is chewing up more money than their publishing costs are. As such, in order to make the same amount of money on a magazine, they would need to charge more for it, not less.

    And you all wonder why they're up in arms over the fees.

    I'm not saying Apple is right or entitled to their method, but it seems a bit more enticing than being tied into some printed subscription I'm never going to read, in a pricing method I don't want.

    You're not tied into a print subscription (or do you not read the articles, either). And they said they will be offering multiple different options. In the one above, you pay the same per year as a print subscriber, but you aren't paying it all upfront. So it isn't the same.

  1. erics

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2010

    +1

    I cant read...

    Love my iPad, dont care much about digital mags.
    Im not sure but they have to find a better way to entice me to sub.
    I find what I need using Google :)

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: Jan 2008

    +4

    To Testudo & DerekMorr

    This follows on similar post from yesterday in which the point I'm trying to make is that this new method of content distribution cannot be seen, from the publisher's standpoint, as working with the same strategy as a print publication. The distribution is different, the preparation is different, the delivery method is different, and thus the costs are different.

    To say that Apple's percentage is outlandish is a presumptuous accusation with so little understanding of the costs involved. As I stated yesterday, do you know how much it costs Apple to create the iPad, market it, sell it, create an App Store, integrate the applications within it, have those all registered & fulfilled for each transaction, manage those accounts and then integrate subscription options?! And do you know those costs to be substantially less than 30% of the cost of a standard magazine subscription?!

    Finally, the print subscription most definitely is tied into the pricing; you get a discounted price for the iPad content based on buying into the print. That's ludicrous! Can you imagine if record labels would discount to .75 per digital song purchase if you buy the CD too?! What sense does that make?!!

    /

  1. global.philosopher

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2010

    +1

    In bed with the wrong devil

    companies will soon find that doing deals with Google is just like doing deals with MS 10-20 years ago. They will learn the hard way as their product is slowly commoditsed and Google takes all the value (and profits).

    At least Apple protects consumers and protects third party product value.

  1. facebook_Justin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2011

    0

    comment title

    As much as I think the iPad is a lemon failure, if I were a sports fan I'd be ending my subscription with s**** Illustrated today, thats for sure. It's one thing to not support an oversized tampon, but when you support an oversized tampon RIP OFF and not the original oversized tampon, then we got a problem!

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