Time Inc. (NYSE: TWX) unveiled its new “All Access” digital subscription model for Sports Illustrated: one monthly or annual price for print delivery and complete use on their PC and — and for now — Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Android-powered mobile devices. It’s the second subscription offering this week; SI, Time magazine, Fortune and People will be on the new HP (NYSE: HPQ) TouchPad when it comes out later in the year.
Meanwhile, talks continue between the publisher and Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) about establishing a subscription format that is flexible enough for both sides. The launch of News Corp.’s iPad news app The Daily has provided some indications that Apple is willing to work out agreeable terms on some issues related to subscriptions. However, that deal was digital only, less complicated than ones that factor in separate print subscriptions that are not in Apple’s control.
In the case of Sports Illustrated’s “All Access” plan, readers who download the new magazine apps for the Samsung Galaxy and Android smartphones (OS 2.1 and higher) will have first crack at the print/digital combo package. The specific plans are:
— Print/Digital (Samsung Galaxy/Android Smartphone/Web): $48 annually or $4.99/month
— Digital Only: $3.99/month
In an attempt to retain the current 3.15 million SI print subs — as well as avoid complaints and angry cancellations — those readers will have free access to the digital package throughout the remainder of their term.
The timing for SI is not happenstance. The publisher plans to ride the wave of publicity that usually accompanies the magazine’s annual Swimsuit Edition. There are also several new Swimsuit digital products, including 3D, coming out on February 15. Separately, Time Inc. has also been publicizing a special digital product for SI on the Android Honeycomb.