After being one of the strongest holdouts for not offerings its publications exclusively through the iPad, Time Inc has caved. The company, which publishes some of the most popular print publications like People, Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly, and more, has announced that it will begin offering digital subscriptions through Apple’s Newsstand platform.
It was one of the most ardent opponents of digital magazine distribution and pretty much the last one to enter Newsstand with no strings attached. Time first entered the iPad last year, but it did it in a very different way than other publishing companies. Unlike virtually every other publisher who has joined the iPad world, Time Inc required anyone who wants digital access to its publications to sign up for the print equivalent.
That is, you could access the iPad version of Time Magazine, or People, or Sports Illustrated, only if you subscribed to the physical, paper version of the same magazine. Every other major player still left in the print journalism business has found a deal with the iPad and other digital reading devices. The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, etc, have all embraced the new technology, but Time Inc’s move was unique in that it does not offer any sort of digital access without a corresponding print subscription.