Now we’re getting somewhere. Just last week I posted how Conde Nast was taking a break from pushing its tablet editions due to… well, an inability to sell them. I’ve always felt that these companies need to let go of big profits per consumer and focus on the high-volume, low-price angle. It looks like Hearst is doing that to some extent, having just agreed to offer its magazines on a subscription basis through the iTunes store.
At $2/month or $20/year, the titles are comparable to yearly print subscription costs. Esquire, Popular Mechanics, and O will be the initial offerings, though more are surely in the works. This makes Hearst the first major publisher to go under the Apple subscription yoke, which many have already bucked at. But as people don’t seem to like having to purchase each issue separately, and volume is all-important for publishing, Hearst decided this was the right move.
Will Hearst be the first of many? Will Conde Nast and others wait and see, or hasten to join for fear of losing potential readers? Find out next time on When Publishers Agree.