Report: Apple may launch newspaper, magazine subscriptions for iPad in next month or two

Apple's success with iTunes, and more recently iBooks, is prompting newspaper and magazine publishers to take a harder look at a rumored iPad subscription service.

The New York Times said the service, which Apple has declined to discuss publicly, would give publishers access to the company's 160 million Apple account holders, a market that potentially could reverse the revenue and circulation slide many have been unable to stop.

But, said the Times, just as video content owners--and the music industry before them--have been reluctant to give up control of their products to Apple, publishers are wary of giving one company so much control over their industry.

Nonetheless, talks with at least one publisher are moving forward, said the Times. Apple currently allows several publishers to sell subscriptions on the iPad directly to users, or to offer free apps through the iTunes store with iPad versions of their publications, and would likely continue that, said the paper. But a broader model would offer more publications through an electronic delivery service that would give Apple 30 percent of subscription sales, a deal that would give Apple a new revenue source and struggling publishers a little brighter outlook.

Earlier this month, Apple rolled out an expanded iTunes store with 99 cent rentals of Fox and ABC TV episodes as part of a re-launch of its Apple TV product that should be hitting the streets by the end of the month.

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