Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/02/18/jobs_tax_fugs_lastfm/

Last.fm 'f*cked over' by Apple, says founder

Music services prepare to flee Jobs tax

By Andrew Orlowski

Posted in Media, 18th February 2011 13:05 GMT

Apple has "fucked over" Last.fm with its new 30 per cent subscription tax, according to co-founder Richard Jones. The former CTO of the music website made the point in an IRC chat session. Other music services are considering their options after the introduction of the subscription requirement, which explicitly covers movies and music, in addition to newspaper and magazine subscriptions. Jones was Last.fm's CTO and left in 2009.

Since the iTunes store opened, Apple has charged developers 30 per cent of the retail price, but did not support in-app subscriptions. Now Steve Jobs says he wants Apple to get a cut of 30 per cent from the fee that third parties keep from new customers acquired through an iApp.

"Basically, people on the iPhone will *always* subscribe using iTunes, because it's easier," wrote Jones, who predicted that it "should be fun to watch the ensuing shitstorm".

The Jobsian Tax doesn't affect subscription signups in Safari, or existing subscribers. Elle and Popular Science are two titles whose owners were happy with Apple's cut, and are already available by subscription. But, obviously, signing up through a mobile browser is much more tedious than from inside the app itself.

And for services with a high marginal cost, such as music, it is a deal-breaker. Rhapsody has made its discontent clear – and the Department of Justice is sniffing around