“Financial Times owner Pearson has put itself on a collision course with Apple over the onerous terms it is demanding for print app subscriptions, with chief executive Marjorie Scardino arguing that as competition increases publishers will no longer have to cave-in,” Mark Sweney reports for The Guardian.
“Earlier this month Apple announced a new subscription service for magazines, newspapers and music bought through its app store, but offered tough terms including keeping 30% of subscription revenues and retaining control of customer information,” Sweney reports.
MacDailyNews Note: Actually, there’s a bit more to the story:
Our philosophy is simple—when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing. All we require is that, if a publisher is making a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer be made inside the app, so that customers can easily subscribe with one-click right in the app. We believe that this innovative subscription service will provide publishers with a brand new opportunity to expand digital access to their content onto the iPad, iPod touch and iPhone, delighting both new and existing subscribers. – Apple CEO Steve Jobs, February 15, 2011
Furthermore, publishers who use Apple’s subscription service in their app can also leverage other methods for acquiring digital subscribers outside of the app. For example, publishers can sell digital subscriptions on their web sites, or can choose to provide free access to existing subscribers. Since Apple is not involved in these transactions, there is no revenue sharing or exchange of customer information with Apple. Publishers must provide their own authentication process inside the app for subscribers that have signed up outside of the app. However, Apple does require that if a publisher chooses to sell a digital subscription separately outside of the app, that same subscription offer must be made available, at the same price or less, to customers who wish to subscribe from within the app. In addition, publishers may no longer provide links in their apps (to a web site, for example) which allow the customer to purchase content or subscriptions outside of the app.
Sweney continues, “‘It is unclear how their proposal is going to work, we are still talking to them,'” said Scardino. ‘The important thing to remember is there are many, many tablets coming out and multiple devices … [from] Kindle to mobiles. If indeed Apple are not happy to give us customer data then maybe we will get it somewhere else.'”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Margie’s in for quite the rude awakening.