Time Warner: one subscription to rule all platforms

WSJ Digits
Shira Ovide reports that Time Warner is hinting at a unified print-tablet subscription strategy that would let readers pay once and read anywhere.

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said Wednesday that the company’s “TV anywhere” strategy could be extended to print publications:

” ‘The key to it all is to get our subscribers — not just for our TV networks but our magazines — to be able to enjoy their products over all broadband devices as soon as possible, because they already subscribe,’ Mr. Bewkes said in an earnings conference call with analysts on Wednesday.”

A unified subscription model could be technically difficult, and it faces some serious policy conflicts.

All Things Digital revealed last week that Apple had rejected a Sports Illustrated app in June that would have enabled readers to subscribe simply to the iPad edition of the magazine. It is not clear what negotiations would be necessary to allow a print-tablet subscription system, but there is not much doubt the option would be popular with readers.

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