New Yorker Plans One Price for Access Across Digital Platforms

Magazines' Current Model Charges Existing Subscribers Extra for IPad and Kindle Editions

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A correction has been made in this story. See below for details.

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The New Yorker wants to let readers pay once for digital access across the iPad, the Kindle and other platforms, hoping to improve on the current industry practice of charging even subscribers for each edition on each device.

A mock-up of The New Yorker iPad app, which is expected later this year.
A mock-up of The New Yorker iPad app, which is expected later this year.
"This is going to evolve," New Yorker editor David Remnick said during a panel on taking print brands online, convened by Conde Nast Digital partly in an effort to tell Conde's digital story more aggressively. "We're going to have a situation where if you pay us X dollars, you can have us in any form you like."

Magazine publishers have been excited to sell iPad editions, seeing it as a promising way to finally wring circulation revenue from digital media -- revenue the web has not delivered for most titles. But subscribers would appreciate a way to access brands' content wherever it appears without feeling nickel and dimed. And the current digital pricing model in the magazine business punishes existing subscribers.

The New Yorker, for example, sells new print subscriptions for $39.95 a year, sells a Kindle edition for $2.99 a month,* and, if the iPad edition expected this year follows current industry practice, will sell the iPad app for something close to the print cover price, $5.99 a week at The New Yorker. The idea likely to reach fruition "fairly soon," Mr. Remnick said, will offer the print edition for one fee and the magazine plus everything else for another fee.

Mr. Remnick also said The New Yorker won't bow to any dictates over its content from Apple, which has been blocking iPad and iPhone apps that it deems too racy. "We're going to publish what we're going to publish," Mr. Remnick said. "If the Pentagon isn't going to talk me out of a story, then Apple in Cupertino isn't going to either. If they throw me off, they throw me off."

It might not be a dilemma in which The New Yorker finds itself -- Apple is keeping an eye out for sexual material, not the political content more likely to appear in The New Yorker. But Apple CEO Steve Jobs' effort to provide an experience where consumers can experience "freedom from porn" has made some people worry about Apple's grip over what gets on the iPad and what doesn't. The U.K. fashion magazine Dazed & Confused has nicknamed the iPad edition under development "the Iran edition," the website Shiny Shiny reported, because of "parallels" between censorship in Iran and the iTunes store.

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article said The New Yorker's Kindle edition costs $2.99 each week; the correct price is $2.99 each month.

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