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Apple's Newsstand to get exclusive early access to Hearst publications

In a new deal with Hearst that went active on Thursday, Apple is offering iPad versions of the publisher's catalog days before they release on other platforms, including print editions.

Hearst Newsstand

Newsstand's new "Read Them Here First" category. | Source: iTunes

According to TechCrunch, iPad users will get issues "a few days" in before other outlets like Amazon's Kindle Marketplace, though availability varies by publication. Both new and current subscribers will have access to the feature.

The new Newsstand section, called "Read Them Here First," offers 20 Hearst magazines including Road & Track, Bazaar and Esquire. According to the iTunes description, the magazines are available to download "before they appear in print or any other digital edition."

Hearst's first title to hit Newsstand was Esquire in 2010 after an experimental one-off "interactive edition" of Popular Mechanics was released earlier that year. In 2011, the publisher's CEO David Carey lauded Apple's iPad distribution model as being "efficient" compared to other digital marketplaces carrying the company's magazines.

News of the Hearst arrangement comes just hours after Rolling Stone debuted in Newsstand earlier on Thursday.