Hearst and Apple come to terms on subscriptions

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Hearst and Apple have come to an agreement over iPad magazine subscriptions. According to the WSJ, Hearst will begin selling a range of its magazines through iTunes for US$1.99 an issue or $19.99 for an annual subscription.

Three magazines will kick off the new subscription deal this July; Esquire, Popular Mechanics and O, The Oprah Magazine. Hearst also stated that it will begin selling newspaper subscriptions through the iPad later this year.

I've written about magazines on the iPad several times in the past, and I, like many of our readers, have been baffled at the high prices magazine publishers have (until now) chosen to charge. With the Hearst announcement representing some of the best magazine deals on the iPad yet, hopefully other publishers will soon fall in line. But while I do think the Hearst subscription deal is a good thing for both publishers and consumers, I'm still holding on to the belief that there needs to be a unified iNewstand store before newspaper and magazine sales really take off on the iPad. Price-wise, however, today's news is a good start.