Sports Illustrated's shift toward an All Access subscription bundle and away from print-only subscriptions received an important boost through a deal with Apple allowing the magazine to include its iPad subscription in the new bundle.
Despite the All Access name, the subscription bundle that Sports Illustrated introduced in February had only been able to bundle print, web and app editions for Android tablets and phones so far, conspicuously omitting the Sports Illustrated iPad edition.
But a new arrangement between Apple and Time Inc., which publishes Sports Illustrated, means that All Access subscribers will now be able get Sports Illustrated's iPad edition at no extra cost, a Sports Illustrated spokesman confirmed.
Then again, publishers are eager to try bundling print and digital content not just because subscribers on one platform believe they shouldn't have to pay for another, but because publishers might be able to charge more for bundles than they can for print alone. The All Access package costs $48, compared to $39 for the print-only subscription on offer in February. The magazine said then that it planned to phase out print-only subscriptions entirely.
The Time Inc.-Apple deal was first reported Monday morning by The Wall Street Journal, which said print subscribers to SI, Time and Fortune will now be able to read iPad editions by logging in to the apps. People magazine has offered that capability since its iPad edition was introduced last August.
Sports Illustrated is not yet, however, selling iPad subscriptions through the App Store.
Magazines have begun to tap the brakes on efforts to get all their titles iPad editions and to concentrate more on selling the iPad editions they offer. They will benefit if and when more consumers buy the devices and they reach an arrangement with Apple on selling iPad-edition subscriptions in the App Store.
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