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BizReport : Internet : January 17, 2011


Apple angers publishers with cessation of free iPad access for print subscribers

Apple has told several European publications that they can no longer offer free access to their iPad editions via the App Store, according to recent reports. Why? It's all about the money.

by Helen Leggatt

Reports in various European newspapers appear to show Apple has contacted a number of publications advising them that they can no longer offer free iPad access to print publications.

Why? Most commentators on the alleged changes believe Apple's motivation is the loss of its healthy cut from each subscription.

"By offering free access to print subscribers, newspapers could avoid charging for access through the iPad, and can avoid paying Apple a 30% cut of all transactions on the App Store," says AppleInsider's Katie Marsal.

The danger is that if Apple doesn't allow companies producing content to control their own pricing strategies and marketing, and provide information on subscribers, they risk losing out to other platforms.

Many companies offer free digital versions for paid print subscribers, so is asking a reader to pay again for a digital version really a smart move?

So far, no publications in the U.K. or U.S. have had communications from Apple regarding this move.

Meanwhile, Google is in the wings and is rumored to be developing its own newsstand product. According to the Wall Street Journal, Google plans to charge publishers less than Apple's 30% cut.

Google's newsstand offering would also share data about app buyers with publishers, something Apple refuses to do.






Tags: Apple, iPad, publishing








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