Bonnier Corp. became one of the first publishers to take advantage of Apple's new digital subscription service by offering an annual subscription to the iPad edition of Popular Science. The company will charge $14.99 a year for 12 issues, a time-limited price that will eventually return to the standard rate of $19.99 for an annual subscription. Single issue downloads will still be available for $4.99.
"Our iPad readers let us know they wanted the ability to buy annual subscriptions using their existing iTunes account, and we're happy to deliver on their demands," stated Gregg Hano, vice president, group publisher of Popular Science. The company said other titles including Popular Photography, Science Illustrated, and TransWorld SNOWboarding would follow in adopting a subscription model this winter.
Apple earlier Tuesday announced the new subscription offering for magazines, newspapers, videos and music through its iTunes App Store. Apple will collect 30% of subscriptions sold via the App Store, but allow publishers to keep all the revenue from digital subscriptions sold through their own Web sites.
Traditional publishers have been pushing for the ability to offer subscriptions to iPad versions of their properties rather than each issue on a stand-alone basis. Consumers have typically had to pay $4.99 for iPad magazine issues, well above print subscription rates. "The Daily," News Corp.'s tablet-only newspaper launched earlier this month, was one of the only iPad publications with a subscription model before today, charging 99 cents a week or $39.99 per year.
Bonnier said Popular Science subscribers will receive a notification every month that the new iPad issue is available for download, and the subscription will automatically renew annually unless a customer chooses to cancel. The publisher last month began working with high-profile creative agency CP+B to develop ad formats tailored to the iPad and other tablet computers.