Feeds

Steve Jobs unveils 30% subs model for ... everything

Publishers get 'magical, revolutionary' our-way-or-the-highway deal

The Power of One Infographic

Apple finally unveiled the shape of its new subscription model for the App store today, confirming that it will force magazine and newspaper publishers to hand over 30 per cent of their cover price.

Cupertino billed its take-it-or-leave-it T&Cs as "the same innovative digital subscription billing service that Apple recently launched with News Corp’s 'The Daily' app".

Apple has given publishers – whether of words or video or music – the power to "set the price and length of subscription", which customers can choose with a single miraculous click, before Apple processes all payments, "keeping the same 30 per cent share that it does today for other In-App Purchases".

Publishers are still permitted to "leverage other methods for acquiring digital subscribers outside of the app," – ie, sell digital subscriptions on their website without having fork out cash to Apple. But, of course, they then have to provide "their own authentication process inside the app for subscribers that have signed up outside of the app".

As well as kissing goodbye to 30 per cent of the take, publishers can also kiss goodbye to knowing who their readers are. Apple's process will give buyers the "option" of providing their name, email, and zip code.

With razor thin margins in digital content, 30 per cent may well be too much. It's almost certainly going to be too much for Amazon, who may discontinue their iOS Kindle app, rather than make a substantial loss on sales.

This is one of the benefits of controlling your own platform – and magazine and newspaper publishers have only themselves to blame. They've had years to come up with their own, owner-operated distribution mechanisms, but failed to do so. Most recently, the newspaper industry collectively shunned Project Alesha, a common payment platform, because they didn't trust Murdoch, who wanted to share the technology with rivals.

If this all sounds like the deck is loaded in Apple's favour, consider this: Steve Jobs took a break from his sick leave to extol the benefits of the new model.

“Our philosophy is simple – when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 per cent share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 per cent and Apple earns nothing,” said Jobs, Apple’s CEO.

"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.”

Subscribers, apart from the joy of ensuring cash goes to Apple instead of to content providers, will get a personal account page which will allow them to cancel automatic renewals. Which at least means a moment's weakness in the face of a surprisingly attractive Trotskyite doesn't mean you're saddled with a copy of Living Marxism turning up on your doorstep every month until the end of time.

And no doubt regulators will be please to see Apple's new T&Cs. Belgian regulators have already been sniffing around Apple's subs plan. Now they'll be able to get stuck in proper. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.