Time Warner to Offer Special Digital Tablet Versions of Magazine Content

August 5, 2010, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Time Warner, the world’s first fully integrated media and communications company, has plans to deliver digital tablet versions of its magazines. Time Warner’s CEO Jeff Bewkes has announced that the company will begin selling virtual and physical magazines together. He hinted that the company wants to make tablet-computer subscriptions for the company’s magazines available to people who already subscribe to the printed versions of the company’s titles, which include Time, People, Sports Illustrated and Real Simple.

The company’s move is similar to it’s ‘TV everywhere’ program which was initiated to limit online viewing of programs on Time Warner’s cable-TV networks — which include TNT, TBS and HBO — only to those who subscribed to cable-TV services. The idea is to make sure that all the subscribers can enjoy their products over all broadband devices.

A few other publications, including The Wall Street Journal, are offering subscriptions to their iPad versions. But they are options separate from subscriptions to their print versions, and it comes with an additional price. If Time Warner’s plan comes into effect the consumers who already have a print subscription will be able to access the digital versions without wasting another dime. Even though other publishing magazines are having a firm grip in the market, with some companies posting subscriber numbers well into the million, Time Warner’s idea will pose a threat to their well being.

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