Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

04/06/2011

Financial Times Still Nixing Apple’s Subscription Plan


Back to the intrigue of Apple’s greedy and asinine subscription plan for magazines and newspapers offered on its iPad and through its iTunes app store.

You are cordially invited to read my previous posts on this subject (all arranged at one convenient link) on my Writers Welcome Blog for more background on this issue.

Although the New York Times and a few others have signed up for the Apple subscription plan, the Financial Times and others have stayed away…saying ‘subscriber relationships are too important to give up in return for the convenience of in-app purchases.’

That last statement refers to Apple’s refusal to give subscriber demographics to the publishers who created them in the first place! This data is crucial to publishers for follow up customer service and special deal offerings among a host of other customer relations fulfillment issues.

This from Josh Lowensohn of CNET News

Financial Times not into Apple’s publishing rules

While some publishers like News Corp. and The New York Times Co. have jumped on board the digital subscription plan Apple unveiled in mid-February, others are bucking the trend, saying that subscriber relationships are too important to give up in return for the convenience of in-app purchases.

In an interview with Reuters yesterday, Rob Grimshaw, managing director of the Financial Times’ Web site, said the outlet was negotiating with Apple on a deal over its iPad subscription program. Grimshaw said that since having that user information and relationship was “at the core of our business model,” it wouldn’t make sense to give that up to Apple in return for a way to subscribe from within the app.

“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,” Grimshaw told Reuters.

If a deal ends up being struck, it’s likely to send a message to other publishers that the stipulations within Apple’s new program are not set in stone.

Apple introduced its long-expected subscription program in February, offering publishers a chance to set both the price and length of subscriptions in return for Apple getting a 30 percent share. Publishers can get around the cut by bringing in existing or new subscribers from their own sites, though as part of the deal the publisher must maintain the same subscription terms and pricing elsewhere, which is problematic for publishers that want to offer special deals.

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01/15/2011

Apple iPad Too Dictatorial to Publishers?


 Is Apple getting too much into its publisher-clients’ business and dictating how to do their business? NIM (Next Issue Media) thinks so…And I

Android Tablet

think with some justification.

NIM is a new venture owned by Time Inc., Condé Nast, Hearst Corporation, and Meredith Corporation, formed so these publishers can have their own tablet app store to publish and distribute their products as they see fit and not as Apple wants to dictate to them.

I think Apple is making a big mistake. Especially with all the new, more inclusive and improved android tablets preparing to hit the market!

Chris O’Shea writes this for MediaBistro:

Publishing Companies Prepare Tablet App Store

Time Inc., Condé Nast, Hearst Corporation, and Meredith Corporation are adding the finishing touches to their tablet app store. Morgan Guenther, the Chief Executive of Next Issue Media (NIM), the new venture owned by the publishing companies, says that it should launch within the next few months.

He says that when the store launches, it will feature at least two titles from each of the companies, and by this summer, every magazine will be available. Guenther also says that News Corporation’s (another owner of NIM) newspapers will be available by then.

For now, the app store will only be available on Android tablets. This is because NIM is the result of publishing houses not wanting other companies (read: Apple) to dictate how their products are distributed.

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12/05/2010

iPad Falling Behind in the "Savior of Publishing" Race – And Rightfully So!


Holy shitswowski! What’s going on with Apple and it’s stupid approach to putting up roadblocks to potential magazine and newspaper publishing clients in it’s iTunes Store RE handling of subscriptions?

Many popular magazine and newspaper iPad apps have already been developed to allow selling digital versions through Apple…AND the so-called Apple visionaries (idiots is more like it) are not allowing the personal information of subscribers to be accessed and managed by the content providers themselves!

Why? What is the purpose of this greedy hoarding? This should be a win-win situation for all parties to be more monetarily successful. The more direct use of personal demographic info will result in more targeted success for the newspaper and mag clients AND should result in more volume biz for the Apple iTunes Store.

Can someone with more insight than I explain this to me?

If Apple stays on this dumb course I think the popular mags and newspapers will take their business elsewhere. And where is that, you might ask? To the upcoming and surging Google and Android platforms, of course!

Also, Apple is demanding too damn much of a cut (30%) to allow the apps! Remember that great line from the New York gubernatorial campaign: The rent is too damn high!

Read these previous posts of mine for more background on this issue:

From this blog, Time Magazine is Unhappy with iPad Publishing

From Writers Thought for Today Blog, Publishers Becoming Wary of Apple

Here is a current little ditty on iPad News: Apple, Publishers Clash on Subscriptions from iPad.net :

The iPad has been looked upon as the “savior” of the publishing industry, but relations between Apple and major publishers have hit an impasse that may be insurmountable. If the two cannot agree on key issues, the publishers may be taking their business elsewhere.

We’ve been hearing rumors for months that iPad apps for numerous popular magazine and newspaper titles will become available for subscriptions at the iTunes Store. Now the reasons for the delay have surfaced. According to Peter Kafka at MediaMemo, Apple and the publishers are “still miles apart” when it comes to the terms for how to sell subscriptions.

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