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Monday May 2, 2011 2:04 pm

Apple and Time Inc. sign deal that gives Time subscribers free iPad access

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Handhelds

time magazine on ipadTime Inc. has signed a deal with Apple that will allow print subscribers to access iPad versions of its magazines for free.

Starting Monday, subscribers to Fortune, Sports Illustrated, and Time can read these magazines on their iPad by entering an authentication code identifying themselves as print subscribers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Magazines have struggled to take off on the iPad. Earlier this year, Apple unveiled a subscription platform for the App Store that awarded 70 percent of revenue to publishers and 30 percent to Apple. However, many publishers found the financial terms to be unfair, and said they wanted full control of subscribers' personal information.

"We frankly don't want Apple to have a stranglehold on this business," Rick Levine, Conde Nast's director of editorial operations, recently told WWD.

A majority of consumer magazines have an iPad edition now, and it's not that they've been totally unsuccessful. In fact, many publications such as Men's Health and Wired had huge launches on the iPad, with impressive initial download numbers. But the numbers weren't sustainable, and their second month in the App Store brought steep declines in sales.

The introduction of the subscription model hasn't kick started iPad magazine sales, either. Absent any other more favorable agreement, the Journal notes that publishers haven't figured out what to do, aside from making iPad issues free to print subscribers.

This article, written by Leslie Horn, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.

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