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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Apple's subscription Plan for iPad & Mobile Publishers: Good or Bad?

I personally think Apple's subscription plan for digital newspaper and magazine publishers leans more to the bad side of the scale.

Why do I think this? For two main reasons:

First, the 30% Apple-keeper-cost is too damn high, and

Second, Apple's withholding of subscribers' info from the publishers (so the publishers cannot manage this vital info for future sales and service improvements).

Unless something has changed, these are the two negatives of the Apple subscription plan that weight it down to hell.

I have posted on this subject in recent posts on this blog (go here) and on my Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue blog here. You are cordially invited to read those posts for more detailed background on this fascinating issue.

This from PaidContent.org by Robert Andrews:

Apple Subs: Publishers Seek Clarity, FT Concerned, Some Sign Up

The response from many publishers to Apple’s subscription announcement has been a shellshocked “errrr…” - many are confused exactly how they are impacted and are quickly seeking clarity from Apple.

“It is still unclear how Apple’s proposed new subscription business will work for publishers,” a Financial Times spokesperson tells paidContent:UK. “But we obviously have concerns over changes to an approach that has so far worked well for our readers and the broader publishing ecosystem around tablet devices, and that may compromise our business model.

See more of our latest FT.com coverage
or add an alert for future coverage of FT.com

“We have a fair and open approach for customers whereby we offer digital access to FT journalism for one price and enable access across multiple platforms for no additional fee. It is necessary to have a direct relationship with the customer to enable this to happen. The iPad and iPhone are two of those channels, but it is a market that is developing quickly and new devices are coming to the market at an increasing rate.”

See our maths on how the FT could be affected.

News International is believed to be assessing what the changes mean via its U.S. mothership News Corp. (NSDQ: NWS), whose The Daily app was a template for Apple’s subscriptions and was developed closely with Apple.

Telegraph Media Group is understood to be considering using Apple’s system for a paid upgrade to its debut iPad app, due in the next couple of months.

Read MG Siegler's (TechCrunch) special article to CNN for even more on this topic.

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