Time Inc. has announced that subscribers to People magazine will also receive free access to its digital iPhone/iPad version. Other publications, such as Time, Sports Illustrated and Fortune is expected to follow.
Until now, Apple has not allowed publishers to bundle subscriptions, instead insisting on selling separate issues for cover price. Apple, however, has still not approved a subscription model for digital-only versions. This had led some to speculate that Apple is in the process of developing its own system for distributing publications. In allowing in-app subscriptions, Apple would give up a substantial share of revenue, compared to selling separate apps; it receives 30 percent for each App’s revenue.
There is currently no way for readers to subscribe to the App version of People on its own. Subscriptions must be bundled with the print edition.
While there are multi-magazine reader apps on the Apple’s App store such as Zinio, they provide a limited experience when compared to a specially built application from publishers.