Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

03/10/2011

Hearst Magazines, iPad, Subscription Data Dispute–‘Bespoke’ Apps May Hold Key


The Hearst magazine empire, which includes more than 200 titles worldwide…including Cosmopolitan, Esquire, O ( The Oprah Magazine) among others in the U.S. …has held out offering subscriptions on the Apple iPad simply because Apple won’t release subscriber info to the publisher. I have posted on this issue before “Apple iPad Too Dictatorial to Publishers?“. Please visit for more background information on this issue.

Time Inc., Condé Nast and Meredith Corporation joined Hearst Corporation in boycotting the iPad for the exact same reason.

Anyway, it appears Hearst (and I assume the others if they haven’t already made other arrangements) may be approaching a work-around-solution to this problem that involves ‘bespoke‘ or custom-created publications for Apple instead of making their existing products available on the iPad.

(John’s Note: I did not know what bespoke meant before this research…AND, I’m still unsure just how the Hearst mags’ custom software for the Apple iPad will garner the subscriber info for Hearst…ANYONE have any ideas?) 

These details from Bloomberg.com by Brett Pulley 

Hearst Magazines ‘Optimistic’ About Resolving Dispute With Apple

David Carey, president of Hearst Magazines, said he’s “optimistic” that major publishers will be able reach an agreement with Apple Inc. (AAPL) about selling subscriptions for the computer maker’s iPad tablet.

Hearst Magazines, a unit of New York-based Hearst Corp. with more than 200 titles around the world, is among the big publishers trying to reach an agreement with Apple. Carey said he is concerned about getting access to information about people who subscribe to his company’s magazines on the iPad.

“I don’t think the publishing industry and Apple are on the same page relative to the data discussion,” said Carey at the Bloomberg Media Summit in New York. “We do not want to be disconnected from who the subscribers are. I’m going to be optimistic that the big publishers and Apple will find a way to work together.”

Hearst’s 14 U.S. titles include Cosmopolitan, Esquire, and O: The Oprah Magazine.

Apple last month started a subscription service for publishers of newspapers, magazines and other content applications. News Corp. (NWSA) is offering subscriptions to the Daily, its new digital-only news publication, through Apple.

Apple has refused to release some consumer information to publishers for customers who buy subscriptions directly through its App Store, which has been a sticking point for some publishers, including the closely held Hearst and Time Warner Inc. (TWX)’s magazine group, Time Inc.

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