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Condé Nast Becomes the First Major Print Magazine Publisher to Offer iPad Subscriptions


Condé Nast, publisher of The New Yorkerbecame the first major print magazine publisher to begin a subscription plan on the iPad for one of its magazines. Previously readers on the iPad had to download each issue separately.

"And the iPad subscription offer is quite aggressive: $5.99 for one month (for four issues) and $59.99 for a full year. But even more surprising, a bundled version of print and digital subscriptions, is available for $6.99 a month, or $69.99 a year. (Current print subscribers can sign in to the iPad version at no additional charge.)

"Subscriptions on the iPad to The New Yorker went on sale early Monday, and subscriptions for other Condé Nast magazines, including Vanity Fair, Glamour, Golf Digest, Allure, Wired, Self and GQ, will become available in the coming weeks. The Condé Nast-Apple deal was first reported in The New York Post last week."

"Condé Nast has traditionally gotten its magazines in the hands of consumers at a cheap price in the hopes of building up big rate bases, the number used to sell advertisers, and the deal with Apple is consistent with that advertising-first approach. Over time, the new tablet subscribers could be a boon to advertising now that the Audit Bureau of Circulations has ruled that digital subscribers can be counted toward the rate base. The bundled subscriptions could also help protect the legacy business by giving a boost to print subscriptions while selling many more digital ones — young people and international consumers are a particular target."

"It will come at a price. Although Condé Nast can sell digital subscriptions on its own Web sites, the vast majority of sales will take place in the Apple App Store, where nearly a third of the price will go to Apple (specific terms were not disclosed). In addition, the consumer data derived from app store sales will belong to Apple and shared as the company sees fit, although Mr. Cue said that “magazine publishers will know a lot more about subscribers on the iPad than they ever did about print subscribers.”  

"By teaming with Apple, Condé Nast and other publishers gain access to a database of 200 million credit card holders and a sales environment where billions of songs and millions of apps have already been sold. But the music industry lesson is one that is not lost on publishing. Apple may have “saved” the music industry, but it is a much smaller business with little control over its pricing" (, accessed 05-10-2011). 

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