Time Inc to sell magazine subscriptions on Apple Newsstand

Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:47pm EDT

The Apple Inc corporate logo is pictured on the rear side of the company's Macbook Air notebook computer in Virginia, August 10, 2011. REUTERS/Jason Reed

The Apple Inc corporate logo is pictured on the rear side of the company's Macbook Air notebook computer in Virginia, August 10, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

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(Reuters) - Time Inc's stable of 20 magazines, including Sports Illustrated and People, are now available for subscription on Apple's Newsstand, the company said on Thursday.

The publishing arm of Time Warner Inc was the last holdout, among large magazine companies, to agree to sell subscriptions through Apple Newsstand.

"It's an important step toward fulfilling our goal of being everywhere consumers want us to be," Laura Lang, Time Inc CEO said in a statement.

Prior to the announcement, consumers have had to go through each magazine's website to get a digital subscription for the iPad.

Existing print subscribers of Time Inc will be able to access the digital editions at no additional cost.

Single-copy editions have always been available through Apple.

A bone of contention for publishers - since Apple launched the iPad in the spring of 2010 and courted content providers - has been the control of subscriber data and the cut of revenue Apple takes from publications. Typically, Apple takes a 30 percent cut from titles sold through its Newsstand.

Apple has wanted to be the primary contact for magazine subscribers, essentially controlling valuable information like addresses and other demographic details. Magazines, too, are keen on this data, which they use to sell advertising.

Subscribers may choose to share their data with the publisher, a process known in the industry as "opting in."

Terms of the deal with Time Inc were not disclosed.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba. Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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