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Newsstand news: Apple offers Hearst magazines before print edition, Rolling Stone arrives

Apple has struck a deal with publishing giant Hearst to give iPad users an extra incentive to hit the buy button for one of its many magazine offerings. The New York-based publisher is now giving readers of its titles – which include the likes of Car and Driver, Esquire, Elle and Cosmopolitan – early access if they purchase it through Apple’s Newsstand store. Twenty titles are currently by the New York-based publisher.

Hearst’s Alexandra Carlin told AllThingsD Thursday that Apple came up with the idea – an idea that Hearst executives evidently liked the sound of. “It’s a great offer they can provide to their Newsstand users,” she said, adding, “We’re always working with our retail partners on unique ways to drive consumer sales and engagement.”

According to Carlin, the offer will apply not only to subscriptions but also to single-edition purchases made through Newsstand. How many days ahead of the print publication readers can get access to the magazine will vary from title to title, Carlin said.

The early access feature is new to Newsstand, though if it proves popular we can expect to see other publishers following in Hearst’s footsteps before too long.

Hearst is one of the world’s biggest publishers of monthly magazines, with 20 titles in the US and over 300 international editions.

With more and more people jumping online for their news fix, newspaper and magazine publishers around the world are frantically searching for ways to get Web users to pay for content as print circulations plummet. Paywalls, per-article-payments and various subscription options are among the different methods being tested. Newsweek recently consigned its print edition to the waste paper basket, choosing to invest all of its its resources in its online edition, most of which sits behind a paywall.

rolling stone

Rolling Stone

And guess what – even Rolling Stone magazine, whose owner said in 2011 that publishers were “crazy” to be so keen to get their publications on the iPad, has, you guessed it, just turned up on Newsstand. The digital edition offers instant streaming of tracks by artists mentioned in its articles.

The music magazine, which is published twice a month, costs $4.99 for a single issue. Two subscription options are also available: one month for $1.99, or one year for $19.99.