July 1, 2014 Last Updated 12:09 pm

Apple promotes the Time Inc. magazines inside the Newsstand under ‘Limited-Time Prices’

The exact mechanics of working with Apple to get promotion are vague, to say the least. For big publishers, like Time Inc. which currently has a promotion ongoing inside the Newsstand, they can approach Apple directly. For small publishers, getting anyone at Apple to return your call can be difficult impossible.

For the part, Apple has transformed the Newsstand from a place of experimentation and new launches, into a haven for established big media.

Time Inc.’s promotion is under a banner saying “Magazine Subscriptions: Limited-Time Prices” – the Time Inc. name is nowhere to be found, so the category is more than a bit dishonest on the part of Apple’s App Store team.

TimeInc-Newsstand-promo

Ignoring all the hurdles Time Inc. face caused by their parent company spinning off the publishing arm and burdening the newly created company with huge debt, the challenge facing the company’s apps is that readers don’t think much of them.

Many of the apps are getting mediocre reviews thanks to bugs. Other readers of the Sports Illustrated app are complaining now that the publisher has abandoned its landscape layouts – though no one at Time Inc. bothered to swap out the long outdated screenshots being used.

Time Inc.’s titles could certainly use promotion, but it would be nice if Apple were a little more honest in both how it displays these promotions (I can’t imagine readers objecting to Time Inc.’s name being displayed), and how one goes about how one gets the same level of attention inside the Newsstand. We get it Apple, it’s all about pay to play now, just let everyone know what the price is to play is.

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