Subscriptions for all of Time's magazines arrive on Newsstand in iOS

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Having reached an agreement with Apple, Time Inc. on Thursday updated the App Store apps for its magazines to begin selling digital subscriptions through iTunes and the Newsstand feature of iOS.

Time Inc. CEO Laura Lang and Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue told The New York Times in an interview on Wednesday that 20 of Time's magazines would be coming to Newsstand.

As the nation's largest magazine publisher, Time produces popular titles such as People, Sports Illustrated, InStyle and Entertainment Weekly.

Though Time had announced last year that it would bring each of its titles to the iPad, it stopped short of offering digital subscriptions. Lang said that she had made talks with Apple a priority when she took over as CEO in January.

Lang acknowledged that tablets like the iPad are here to stay. “For a magazine or brand like People or Time, a tablet will become an increasingly important part of the experience,” she said. “Our goal is to offer content where our consumers want to read it.”

Time appears to have scheduled the announcement around App Store approval, as the new subscription option for Time's magazines began arriving early Thursday. A large number of Time Inc.'s iPad apps (iTunes link) have received updates adding the subscription feature.

Time Inc.'s Sports Illustrated iPad app

It's not immediately clear, however, what kind of agreement Time and Apple have made. Cue said Apple offers "the same terms to everyone no matter how big or small."

The Apple executive did reveal, though, that Newsstand has more than five million customers and stocks over 5,000 magazines and newspapers. Most customers prefer subscriptions over single issue purchases, Cue reportedly told the publication.

Apple introduced Newsstand last October with the release of iOS 5. Just weeks after it arrived, publishers began reporting that iPad magazine sales had shot up because of the feature. Publisher Condé Nast said last October that subscription sales of the digital editions of its magazines had shot up 268 percent with the arrival of Newsstand. A separate analysis found that Popular Science + enjoyed a sales boost as a result of iOS 5's new publication-friendly approach to subscriptions.

Consumers have taken to Newsstand rather quickly. iPad users collectively spend $70,000 per day on newspapers and magazines in Newsstand, according to research published by analytics firm Distimo in March.