People’s iPad App Free to Print Subscribers

Published on August 19, 2010
by John Paczkowski

Looks like People magazine’s rumored iPad standoff with the photo agencies that supply it with paparazzi shots is over. The publication’s app for Apple’s (AAPL) iPad (iTunes link) debuted early this morning, and with an interesting twist: A subscription-verification interface that permits current People subscribers to download the issues for free. Non-subscribers looking for the latest Lindsay Lohan rehab photos will need to cough up $3.99 per issue and they cannot subscribe via the app.

Seems resistance from photo agencies trying to squeeze People for some extra money to allow their images to be used on the magazine’s iPad app wasn’t quite as bad as it had been made out to be. Either that or the publication agreed to pay photographers an additional iPad usage fee that acknowledges the device isn’t simply a promotional tool, but a new distribution mechanism and revenue stream.

Notably, the People iPad app is the first Time Inc. (TWX) offering free to print subscribers. The rest of the company’s flagship mag iPad apps are expected to join it in the next 30 days or so. As will the rest of the publishing industry’s for-tablet offerings.

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