Time Inc. digital chief says customer relationship a core principle on mobile

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The new chief digital officer for Time Inc. said Monday that maintaining contact with customers is a “core principle” of the subscription business, even on mobile devices.

Randall Rothenberg, speaking Monday to Edmund Lee, declined to comment directly on Apple’s iTunes store policies, which currently restrict the customer information available to publishers. But Rothenberg was clear he believes Apple must compromise on the issue:

“A company like Time Inc., the life-blood of our business is predicated on subscriptions, which are predicated on maintaining direct contact with the users. We believe there will be many ways in the emerging landscape of, call it untethered devices, to present and render our products to consumers on devices in marketplaces that attend to and conform with the principles that our business is buying into”

Apple has reportedly been in discussions with major publishers for months on the issue of iTunes-based recurring subscriptions. Peter Kafka wrote earlier this month that the parties are still “miles apart” in the negotiations.

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