updated 11:40 am EDT, Sat May 7, 2011
Conde Nast may pip Hearst to iTunes subscriptions
Condé Nast could not only side with Hearst in offering iTunes magazine subscriptions but beat it to the mark by having the option first, a source rumored this weekend. iPad magazine titles like GQ and Wired will reportedly be available under Apple's plan as soon as early next week. The New York Post understood that yearly subscriptions would go for the same $20 as Hearst but that Condé would also slash the price of buying individual issues from the $4 or $5 newsstand price down to $2.
Like the Time deal, print subscribers would automatically get free digital versions. Condé would most likely have an opt-in request for information to help target ads.
It's not certain why the publisher would sign on at a time when it was reportedly slowing down its plans. The Hearst deal may have tipped Condé's hand as it might not want to let a major competitor have a major advantage. Sales of magazines such as Wired at iTunes have been relatively slow under the current model, and the movement by once-hesitant publishers might be considered an opportunity to revitalize interest.
Previously, publishers had balked at Apple's terms. It at first wouldn't let publishers offer free iTunes subscriptions to print readers and to this day won't hand over detailed subscriber information. They argued that, without detailed customer demographics, they couldn't properly narrow their ads and wouldn't have sustainable ad deals. Apple has always insisted on maintaining privacy and only conceded through a pop-up asking for limited information on a voluntary basis.