In a move aimed at creating a digital store for magazines that can cater to mobile devices like ebook readers, Time Inc has initiated talks with leading US magazine publishers for an industry wise joint venture.
The proposed service will allow its users to buy subscriptions according to their requirements and will land publishers with a new revenue source that can offer handsome margins.
Many publishers have seen their revenues go down in recent time due to falling advertising revenues and the rise of web-based publications.
With the advent of electronic readers, they see the possibility of a new user base which they can tap by offering them various options which can range from monthly subscriptions to combined packages from a single platform.
With both Amazon’s Kindle and Sony ebook reader doing brisk sales, the idea of a digital store does seem promising for publishers. According to Reuters, some of the companies that Time Warner Inc has reportedly approached include leading publishers like Hearst Corp and Conde Nast amongst others.
Though no formal date has been set for the service, analysts believe that it may the see the light of the day sometime in next year, once complex financial arrangements related to the new service is worked out.
Hulu worked well for the movie and TV sector and we reckon that Spotify, in which record labels have a minority stake, could be on a similar path. A Hulu for magazines could also work miracles as well except for a huge issue. You don't need to buy a new computer or a new laptop to use Spotify or Hulu. But you will have to if you want to view a digital magazine. They are not only expensive but proprietary.
(The Wall Street Journal)