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TIME Says Tablet Versions Will Be Available For All 21 Titles by End of 2011

While old media stalwarts have not always been super hot for the tablet format, one big name is embracing the medium with both arms.

Time Inc. plans to release tablet versions for its entire portfolio of 21 titles by years’ end, per a press release from the company. InStyle, Entertainment Weekly, Sports Illustrated, People, TIME, Real Simple and Fortune are among the periodicals to be adapted for “all leading tablet platforms,” including the iPad, Kindle, Nook, HP TouchPad and the Android Marketplace.

Fortune, People, Sports Illustrated, and TIME will be available in single-copies through Barnes & Noble for the Nook Color by the end of the month, and overall, the company says, print ads will be part of the digital editions of Time Inc. titles. The messy business of licensing and formats is yet to be entirely ironed out- as AllThingsD points out, Amazon’s forthcoming tablet wasn’t hinted at in the release, and some iTunes subscription terms are being settled.

With the release of AOL Editions earlier this week and now the Time announcement, it seems the print industry is adapting to consumers’ new tablet and smartphone dependencies rather readily and with little pushback. Have you started reading magazines or similar publications on a tablet? Has your consumption of such media re-ignited with the acquisition of a tablet?

Full text of the press release from Time, Inc. below:


New York, NY – August 3, 2011 – As part of Time Inc.’s industry-leading effort to deliver its iconic brands everywhere consumers want them, the company today announced that all 21 of its U.S. titles will be available as tablet editions by the end of 2011. Time Inc. will be the first major U.S. magazine publisher to make all of its titles available on all leading tablet platforms, with products designed specifically for this medium.

Brands including INSTYLE, REAL SIMPLE and ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY will now join PEOPLE, TIME, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and FORTUNE with digital tablet versions. To date, Time Inc.’s digital magazine and other content apps have been downloaded more than 11 million times. Hundreds of thousands of current print subscribers have upgraded their subscriptions to include the tablet editions at no extra cost, with thousands more being added each week. Time Inc. has also sold more than 600,000 digital single copies of those four titles.

“Now is the time for us to make this bold commitment. In the coming year, there will clearly be many more consumers using tablets, accelerating demand for content and driving advertiser interest. We are putting ourselves in a great position to take advantage of these opportunities,” said Maurice Edelson, EVP and a member of Time Inc.’s interim management committee. “Having our entire portfolio available on tablets will create a significant new digital reach for our advertisers.”

Today, the company also announced an agreement with Barnes & Noble to sell digital subscriptions and single-copy issues of FORTUNE, PEOPLE, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and TIME on the NOOK Color starting later this month, with the rest of the portfolio to follow by year-end. The Barnes & Noble agreement adds the NOOK Color to a growing list of platforms where Time Inc. distributes its digital titles, including Apple iPad, Android Marketplace, HP TouchPad and Next Issue Media’s store.

Time Inc. offers consumers an All Access approach that includes print and digital subscriptions, as well as digital-only subscriptions and the ability to purchase single copies. Additionally, each of Time Inc.’s 28 million print subscribers will have the option to upgrade their subscription to include the digital edition at no additional cost. The digital editions will be presented using reader software that is native to each platform.

Print ads will be incorporated into the tablet editions. The company plans to report digital sales and subscriber information to ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulations) beginning in January 2012. Time Inc. research shows consumers place a high value on digital editions that include ads.