“The Financial Times wants to keep selling subscriptions for its digital news directly to readers rather than surrender control of new customers who sign up via Apple’s iPad, the managing director of FT.com said,” Georgina Prodhan reports for Reuters.
“Apple’s hit tablet computer, the iPad, has become a major driver of new subscriptions to FT.com, thanks to its large and crisp display, possibilities for interactive features and affluent customer base,” Prodhan reports. “But the FT values direct relations with its customers which allow it to tailor advertising and products to its audience, and is resisting Apple’s efforts to channel them through the App Store.”
“‘We don’t want to lose our direct relationship with our subscribers. It’s at the core of our business model,’ Rob Grimshaw told Reuters in an interview on Monday,” Prodhan reports. “He said he was hopeful of a positive outcome to negotiations with Apple, but added: ‘If it turns out that one or another channel doesn’t mix with the way we want to do business, there’s a large number of other channels available to us.'”
MacDailyNews Take: Grimshaw ought to be careful about making veiled threats when he doesn’t a leg to stand on. Apple requires publishers to first ask for permission from customers who choose to subscribe to publications from within iOS apps (customers can also opt instead to subscribe directly via the publishers’ sites) to access the customers’ personal information. Subscribing via FT’s website requires customers to give name, address, telephone number, email address, credit card number, credit card security code, along with job title, job responsibility, and industry. Make no mistake, forcing that information out of subscribers upfront is what is at the core of The Financial Times’ flawed business model.
Prodhan continues, “He added: ‘We have a great relationship with Apple.'”
MacDailyNews Take: That’s right, you’d better be very careful. The Financial Times needs Apple’s iPad far more than Apple’s iPad needs The Financial Times. Grimshaw is nuts if he really believes he’s “negotiating” with Apple, especially from a such a weak position.
Prodhan continues, “Grimshaw said FT.com had far more to lose by giving up its customer relationships to Apple than many other publishers, who had not yet developed a successful online business model. ‘We have something to lose,’ he said. ‘The publishing market as a whole is in a different situation.'”
MacDailyNews Take: Again, what does FT.com have to lose, exactly? Names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, credit card numbers, credit card security codes, along with job titles, job responsibilities, and industries; all forced out of customers at the time of subscription. That is precisely what The Financial Times does not want to lose. Apple’s App Store lets customers keep their information in one safe place, with Apple, not spread among X number of publishers, at the whim of their “security” or lack thereof.
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: With App Store subscriptions, Apple’s on the side of the consumer yet again. Anytime you read differently, it’s highly likely that it’s from a publication that wants to continue to be able to force your name, address, telephone number, email address, credit card number, credit card security code, job title, job responsibility, and industry from you at the time of subscription.
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
Financial Times owner Pearson threatens to go ‘somewhere else’ over Apple’s iPad app subscription rules – March 1, 2011
The Independent foments ‘discontent’ over Apple, but presents precious little evidence – February 22, 2011
App Store subscriptions: Apple’s on the side of the consumer yet again – February 17, 2011
Apple debuts subscription service on the App Store; Steve Jobs: ‘Brand new opportunity’ for content publishers – February 15, 2011