updated 03:30 pm EDT, Mon August 18, 2014
Focuses attention on seldom-promoted service
To promote the App Store's Newsstand section, Apple UK is now giving away five free magazine issues a day through August 22. Shoppers are limited to issues selected by Apple, however. The promotion involves single, but complete, issues of the magazines in question, in hopes of sparking subscriptions or generating more interest in e-magazines generally. The first day's group includes NME, The Economist, Focus, T3, and Glamour.
Newsstand has received relatively little advertising since it was introduced in October 2011. Though it appears to have a sustained audience, Apple has rarely discussed subscription statistics for the various newspapers and magazines it hosts. The offer applies only to those with UK iTunes accounts, but if successful the promotion could spread to more countries.
Most of the existing magazines on the iTunes Store offer a free "sampler" or "starter" issue already, but these are often incomplete or feature a "mash-up" of stories from recent issues, with appeals to subscribe (most offer either single-issue or subscription sales through in-app purchases). Apple's promotion does not include any extra marketing or calls to action, and simply presents the free issues exactly as they would appear to those who already subscribe. The selections are designed to appeal to a wide range of readers, and is seemingly intended to increase usage of the Newsstand application and its attendant services.