updated 03:07 pm EST, Thu January 17, 2013
Apple scores minor coup in attracting content
Publisher Wenner Media has brought music and pop cultural magazine Rolling Stone to the Newsstand section at the App Store. The app is iPad-only, and comes with a one-month trial subscription. After that a single issue is $5, a monthly subscription is $2, and an annual subscription is $20; the latter two options renew automatically. Unlike some magazines, there is no way to subscribe to the Rolling Stone app for free if a person already has a print subscription.
Getting Rolling Stone is a minor coup for Apple, which has encountered resistance from publications unwilling to deal with the potential loss of revenue and demographic data involved with the App Store. In May 2011, Jann Wenner called publisher adoption of the iPad "premature," motivated by "sheer insanity and insecurity and fear." Wenner Media now says it has been making a "planned progression" since May 2010, when it launched a Beatles app. Rolling Stone Music News and Us Weekly have since debuted at the App Store, and "digital replica" versions of Rolling Stone have appeared on Zinio, the Nook, and the Kindle Fire.
One way Wenner may be compensating for lost revenue is the iPad app's iTunes affiliate links. Where appropriate, music articles in the magazine contain links to sound samples, and the option to buy songs and albums, from which Wenner should receive a small kickback.