Apple's iPad could mean the temporary salvation of the publishing industry as publishers such as Time, Wired, Sport Illustrated, and the New York Times are selling high-priced advertisements in versions of their magazines formatted for the new device.
The imminent release of the Apple iPad is expected to be accompanied by subscription offers to those magazines and more, and advertisers are responding strongly to the potential market.
Unilever, Toyota, Fidelity Investments, and other customers have signed agreements with Time to pay about $200,000 each for a single advertisement spot in each of the first eight issues of the iPad version of that magazine, The Wall Street Journal on Thursday reported.
FedEx has signed advertising agreements with iPad applications from The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, and Newsweek, while The New York Times has signed an agreement with high-end credit card supplier Chase Sapphire, the Times reported on Wednesday.
The Journal also reported that Ford has been showing prototype advertisements for its Ford Mustang which rely heavily on video, and which take advantage of the iPad's motion sensing technology to include an arcade-style driving game.
The Journal, citing sources, said that six advertisers including Coca-Cola and FedEx have signed to advertise on the publications iPad version, which is expected to be available for subscription at $17.99 per month.
There had been concerns that content for the iPad, scheduled to start shipping on April 3, would be scarce at first as publishers, broadcasters, and other content providers scramble to understand how moving content to the Apple device might impact their existing revenue streams.
Given the reported big-name companies paying hefty advertising fees for advertisements in the iPad versions of well-known publications, that fear seems to have subsided somewhat.
However, whether this will help improve the publications' business over the long-term is still in doubt.
Both the Times and the reported that the big contracts currently being signed are taking advantage of, and helping contribute to, the buzz surrounding the launch of the iPad. However, actual iPad sales potential, and what consumers will do with the device when they get it, are still unknown.