The Wall Street Journal and CNet report that Time and Apple have reached an iPad subscription agreement whereby print subscribers to Time, Sports Illustrated, and Fortune would gain free access to the iPad edition. This deal is the first of its kind that I know of—up to this point, Apple has been firmly opposed to print publications allowing their subscribers free access to iPad editions because it cut Apple out of the 30% fee it got on the electronic editions.

The details of the deal don’t seem to be public knowledge, but I would expect it to involve Time compensating Apple for lost app store revenue in some way. And this only covers providing electronic access to print subscribers, not selling electronic-only subscriptions—though given how much cheaper print subs are than individual electronic issues, presumably those who want e-only could simply subscribe to the paper version and drop the unwanted print copies off at some convenient doctor’s office or laundromat.


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