Hearst Signs on for iPad Magazine Subscriptions

The publisher behind Popular Mechanics, Esquire and the Oprah Magazine, Hearst, has signed with Apple to offer in-app subscriptions on the iPad. The publisher plans to eventually offer newspaper subscriptions through in-app purchases, too.

Apple and Hearst had apparently been negotiating a subscription deal for the past several months, according to the Wall Street Journal. A Hearst spokesperson said the two companies “came to a fair and equitable deal.”

Hearst magazinesHearst adds iPad in-app subscriptions

Heart’s agreement with Apple marks the first time a major magazine publisher has come on board with Apple’s in-app subscription requirements. Apple’s rules state publishers must offer the same deals in-app as they do through Web site purchases, and the company gets a 30 percent cut of in-app sales.

Time recently began offering issues of its magazines for free on the iPad to its print subscribers. The publisher hasn’t, however, begun offering in-app subscription purchase options.

With Hearst on board, Apple may have an easier time getting other big name publishers to sign in-app subscription deals.

Heart’s in-app subscription option will be available starting with the July issues of Popular Mechanics, Esquire and the Oprah Magazine, and will set customers back US$1.99 a month. Annual in-app subscriptions will be priced at $19.99.