Big changes for Apple App Store publishers start today

“Big changes are coming to Apple’s App Store on Thursday — and they could mean big trouble for e-book sellers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble,” Julianne Pepitone reports for CNNMoney.

“June 30 is the deadline for app makers to get in compliance with Apple’s strict new rules for in-app payment and subscription links,” Pepitone reports. “Apple laid out the first version of its controversial new rules in February, then quietly softened them this month after massive blowback from content companies.”

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“Apple backed down from its initial demand that all publishers who sell digital subscriptions make them available for purchase within their Apple apps — and give Apple a sales cut. That mandate could have forced Rhapsody, Hulu, Netflix and others to withdraw their iPhone and iPad apps,” Pepitone reports. “Instead, Apple’s revised rules give merchants an ‘all or nothing’ option: They can either use Apple’s payment system, or include no mechanism at all for subscriptions and other purchases.”

That’s not ideal for publishers, but most can live with it… But digital booksellers rely on customers buying a steady stream of new e-books to read. Removing all links from within their apps to make new purchases is pretty user-unfriendly.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If publishers want to be the most user-friendly, they’ll use Apple’s seamless payment system. If they’re more interested in other things, they won’t. The path publishers choose provides consumers an easy way to identify which publishers care more about their customers versus those who care most about their customers money and personal information.

Related articles:
Why did Apple give in on controversial in-app subscription policy, anyway? – June 11, 2011
Apple’s subscription policy changes likely to lead to influx of content for iOS devices – June 9, 2011
The surprising reason why publishers are now hopping aboard the Apple iPad express – May 11, 2011
Steve Jobs wins as Apple brings Condé Nast aboard iPad subscription bandwagon – May 9, 2011
Telegraph Media Group, Hearst Magazines follow Apple’s opt-in approach with their iOS apps – May 5, 2011
App Store subscriptions: Apple’s on the side of the consumer yet again – February 17, 2011
Apple’s subscription rules cause some to utter ‘antitrust’ – February 16, 2011
App Store subscription terms for content providers to focus on the consumer – February 15, 2011
Analyst: App Store subscriptions another plus for Apple’s ecosystem – February 15, 2011
Apple’s App Store subscription rules cause concern at media companies – February 15, 2011
Apple debuts subscription service on the App Store; Steve Jobs: ‘Brand new opportunity’ for content publishers – February 15, 2011

16 Comments

  1. Jobs ruined the ebook industry by causing prices to rise an average of 50%. Now it looks like he’s not going to be satisfied until he’s killed the industry.

      1. This is a discussion not a science paper. Honestly – give me sources… now… facts… figures… exterminate exterminate exterminate. Justify, justify, JUSTIFY…….

    1. I don’t have any sources to cite but Jon is right. e-Books were cheaper before Apple got into the game. I wish Apple would leave Amazon alone. I have many Kindle books that I read on the iPad but I’ve only read a couple of books in iBooks. I don’t like browsing in Apple’s library.

    2. Amazon was reaming the publishers before Apple stepped in with a truly viable business model. And now some publishers are biting the hand that feeds them.

      People quickly and conveniently forget the new paths that Apple has forged and the reductions in prices for many things, such as the combined voice/data plans on the original iPhone. Apple has broken down consumer-unfriendly barriers in the telco industry and iTunes has fostered a renaissance in indie music. Go to Walmart for the stripped down stuff cheapened on the backs of workers, Jon_Doh, and leave the quality products to the rest of us.

  2. I am very happy with the Amazon Kindle app and use it a lot. I do not purchase music or books from iTunes because I find Amazon a better service with better prices. This does not look good for the consumer and smells like M$ by forcing consumers in a direction beneficial to the company….

  3. MDN’s stance on this issue, as it relates to book sellers, is moronic. The convenience argument espoused by MDN would mean they would be selling their books at cost since the 30% charged by Apple equals their gross profit. I doubt Amazon et al will bow to Apple’s avarice demands.

    1. I completely agree — MDN shows some real stupidity sometimes. I mean, loving Apple is one thing but blindly agreeing with everything they do shows a lack of sentience.

        1. MDN pretty much parrots Apple’s line. They always have. It’s a rare day when they disagree, and it’s only when Apple is so far out on a limb that they have no choice.

          In this case, I thought Apple was right, but have changed my mind. I bought the original iPad 3G 64 the first day it was available, and bought the iPad2 3G 64 the first day IT was available. I’ve been buying books from iBooks, the Nook app, and the Kindle app, and all are good. Apple still has the smallest selection by far. It often makes it difficult to buy a book from them. the Kindle has the biggest selection with the Nook in between, but closer to the Kindle.

          Until Apple has the largest selection of books, as they have with music, they should welcome every competitor on equal terms, until then, they can’t compete on selection, and often, on price either.

          If Amazon and B&N are forced to remove the link, I will still buy from them. Apple should understand that they are going too far with this. From Steve saying that no one reads anymore, to this, is a step they shouldn’t have taken.

          Apples’ success is in making things easier for their customers, and this will make it harder. The amount of money they will be making from it isn’t enough for all of these problems.

          MDN is certainly wrong in so quickly agreeing with them on this.

  4. I usually don’t second guess Apple. However in this case, i am feeling that Apple may not be forward thinking. It seems to me that it benefits Apple and it’s customers more by making it’s book market place attractive to all publishers. To that end moderating it’s fee structure seems reasonable. Apple could not only afford to break even on the ibook store it could even afford to operate it at a small loss, which would be more than covered by exploding sales.

    Why give competitors an opening by driving book and magazine sellers away?

    So I would hope Apple reviews and revises it’ts policies accordinhgly.

  5. Seriously MDN. Did you really write that about who cares more about the customers or the customers money? Is this opposite day. I am a die hard Mac fanatic and also a business owner. The day a business can thrive, let alone survive, will be a great day. Until then it is quite obvious who is after the funs with these restrictions. Helllooooo!

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