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Hearst gives iPad owners early dibs on magazines

The publisher hopes to rope in iPad owners with early editions of magazines before they hit other platforms.


Publisher Hearst has a new initiative that gives iPad owners early access to digital versions of its magazines.

Apple today quietly launched a new section in its App Store called "Read them here first," with a listing of Hearst-owned magazines that can be had digitally before they arrive on newsstands or on competing digital platforms.

Hearst has 20 of its titles involved in the program, including Esquire, Car and Driver, and Popular Mechanics. A company spokeswoman said the lead time varies by publication.

The move gives Apple a leg up against competing digital newsstand products, particularly apps Zinio and Next Issue, where Hearst also sells its magazines, and that can also be downloaded and used on the iPad.

Apple's Newsstand remains a nascent product in the grand scheme of the company's digital stores. Some publishers have held out on offering their products on the platform because of the terms, which include a revenue share with Apple and a potential lack of information about subscriber demographics.