Right now, the current state of magazine subscriptions, or lack there of, is a pressing matter for major publishers making their magazines and other periodicals available through Apple’s App Store for download. While sales for magazines started off well, it’s been noted that their sales are starting to drop off, and the fact that there’s no recurring subscription pricing available for these periodicals is being attributed as the main cause. But now that The Daily –the iPad-specific daily periodical from News Corp.– is being rumored to be delayed because of the recurring application subscription feature, publishers are starting to wonder when they will be able to utilize the same feature.
It’s been rumore that The Daily’s launch, along with the application subscription feature, is meant to act as a vessel for the API’s availability for other publishers to take advantage of. However, that hasn’t been confirmed, which means that publishers are still left to use the per-issue payment plan that they’ve had to implement since their launch. According to a report in The New York Times, it’s expected that other publishers will be able to take advantage of the API some time in the future, but publishers like TIME Inc., Conde Naste and Hearst haven’t heard anything about it yet, and no deals have been confirmed.
The method that users must obtain their favorite periodicals now isn’t something that sits well with major publishers. The fact that customers must pay per-issue, for one, along with the fact that they must go into the App Store and find the new issue on their own is something that these publishers believe is detracting from sales. And the numbers, which have begun to slough off since most periodical’s launch earlier in 2010, would go far to confirm these suggestions.
Earlier today, it was reported that Apple is banning publishers from creating bundled iPad subscriptions, based on the fact that Apple is working on their own subscription-based API, and that they have until March 31st to implement the current system or face being yanked out of the App Store altogether.