Apple iPad “to offer newspaper subscriptions”

Apple is planning to launch a subscription model for accessing electronic versions of newspapers, according to reports.

Apple iPad

The service, which would be suited to the company’s iPad, could come as a welcome relief to publishers, who are battling against declining print sales worldwide.

However, the terms of the deal – as reported in the Mercury News – would see Apple take a large bite from any revenues generated for publishers through the model.

The report claims Apple would probably seek a 30% cut of all subscriptions sold via the App Store, and as much as 40% of the advertising revenue.

Newspapers such as The Times already offer digital versions of their titles on the iPad, but these are distributed via apps rather than iBooks.

It is understood that publishers are unhappy with Apple’s proposed terms and would have preferred a fixed fee, but amid falling sales they are keen to explore new avenues and could be forced to accept Apple’s conditions.

They could also benefit from acquiring data on their readers, which could help boost advertising revenue. Apple has agreed to provide an opt-in function, which would allow Apple to pass subscribers details to publishers, who could use the data to attract advertisers, the report claims.

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