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Rolling Stone lands on iPad with iTunes integration in tow

Newsstand holdout Rolling Stone magazine is now on the App Store, with some iTunes music integration to let people buy tracks.


Longtime Apple Newsstand holdout Rolling Stone magazine has caved, and is now available on Apple's subscription service.

Rolling Stone's new app works like any other publication in Newsstand, with a way to buy a single issue or subscribe using an iTunes account. Rolling Stone is pricing issues at $4.99 apiece, and there are two subscription options: one month for $1.99 (Rolling Stone comes out twice a month), or one year for $19.99 -- both with the first month for free.

The addition is noteworthy given comments made by publisher Jann Wenner of Wenner Media, who in 2011 said he was "not in any rush to break what I consider fundamental principles of what the magazine industry is" in order to make a deal with Apple that "will mortgage me into the future on the basis of getting 2,000 copies sold a month."

Nonetheless, a few months after that interview, Wenner's position appeared to have softened, with a Newsstand version of celebrity news and gossip magazine US Weekly arriving in early 2012.

Given the music-oriented focus of the magazine, what's worth noting is that the app ties into Apple's iTunes store. Reviews of entire albums or mentions of particular songs get linked so you can stream, and potentially buy, without switching devices.

The app was made with Adobe's Digital Publishing Suite, the nearly 2-year-old software Adobe sells to companies that want to make interactive publications on tablets.

The Rolling Stone app is already drawing some ire from early users, who are complaining that they don't get access to a free copy of the digital version with their existing print subscription. That practice has been popularized by others, including publisher Conde Nast.