Thursday, June 9, 2011

Apple backs down over subscriptions in iOS

According to MacStories today, Apple has amended it's subscription policy, which was the subject of much hue and cry a few weeks ago. With the 30 June deadline drawing near, they have decided that accessing content subscribed to from outside the App Store is OK, and publishers can sell both in-app subscriptions and non-app-based subscriptions at whatever price they choose. The only caveat is that there can be no link from within the app to the external subscription/store web presence. This allows, for instance, Amazon to sell books on their online store in Kindle format at their price, and also offer newspaper or magazine subscriptions in-app. Users can access all their content in the same app with no limitations.

Publishers were complaining about the earlier verbiage, which required the internal and external prices to be identical, and required in-app offerings if there was an external method for subscribing. With the razor-thin margins in today's publishing market, this was a losing proposition, and Apple realized that many publishers, while desiring iPad readers, would go the way that the Financial Times went earlier this week, when they created a web-app version for their subscriptions, eschewing the App Store channel completely. While this allows mobile users outside the iOS market to access the content, it does not allow offline reading without learning a few special tricks. This is not what many iPad users would be able to do, and removes the exclusivity that Apple likes to have with their app offerings.

from dusty archives - Largo Lodge

[ed. This piece was written some time ago, but I found it recently while moving hard drives on a computer. I thought some folks may find it ...