Apple tightening grip on App Store magazine sales

The Daily's subscription system is soon to become commonplace thanks to stricter enforcement of App Store rules in the future, The Wall Street Journal is reporting. UK-based developer Yudu said that it recently received word from Apple that come March 31st, publication apps that don't have the option to pay via the iTunes store will be outright rejected. Developers can still offer their own payment system within the app, but Apple's homegrown in-app purchasing system must be employed alongside it.

The news comes following Sony's rejection from the App Store with its Sony Reader for iOS. Sony's app would have allowed customers to purchase books from Sony's own Reader Store, infringing on App Store policy. Curiously, Amazon's Kindle app is still available despite using a similar distribution method.

The rule has always been listed, but up until now Apple haven't enforced it in a big way. Apple's push for magazine and newspaper publishers to bring their content to the iPad, along with the release of The Daily, have spurred Apple on to take more control over content payments. While publishers have been clamouring for a subscription system like the one introduced with The Daily, it comes at a price. Apple will take a cut of in-app purchases, and crucial statistics about consumer buying habits are kept secret from publishers.

While apps that currently infringe on the rule, like The Economist, may be reluctant to switch systems, Rupert Murdoch's empire seems happy with jumping on board. In an interview with Fox Business Network, the chairman revealed that News Corp is currently in a 70/30 revenue split with Apple, but after the first year the contract is open to negotiations. Furthermore, Apple sees the service as a golden opportunity for publishers to increase their reader base. Vice president of internet services Eddy Cue said, "We think subscriptions are only going to help [publishers] get more customers."

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neufuse said,

Uh and there wasn't other media players and Internet browsers out there? yet those are the things they got microsoft on... you arn't the only one isn't the problem, its abusing your position that is the problem

The difference is that Apple doesn't have a monopoly on smartphones. Not even close. They don't even have a monopoly on eBook sales. But Apple does have a monopoly on iOS device sales. Oh wait...

asdavis10 said,

The difference is that Apple doesn't have a monopoly on smartphones. Not even close. They don't even have a monopoly on eBook sales. But Apple does have a monopoly on iOS device sales. Oh wait...

You don't have to be declared a monoploy to be convicted of anti-trust behavior

neufuse said,

You don't have to be declared a monoploy to be convicted of anti-trust behavior


Note: Microsoft bought Apple stock to keep them alive, so they would not have a monopoly. They were sued for anti-trust violations regarding pre-loading NN, nothing to do with Apple/OS monopoly.

greenwizard88 said,

Note: Microsoft bought Apple stock to keep them alive, so they would not have a monopoly. They were sued for anti-trust violations regarding pre-loading NN, nothing to do with Apple/OS monopoly.

what does that have to do with the apple behavior? Apple is acting in an anti-competative way nothing MS did has anything to do with this

asdavis10 said,

The difference is that Apple doesn't have a monopoly on smartphones. Not even close. They don't even have a monopoly on eBook sales. But Apple does have a monopoly on iOS device sales. Oh wait...

They do however have a monopoly on how apps are distributed on their platform, which is the way this will be viewed.

I've been considering replacing my old Windows based UMPC for a lightweight tablet like this, and was seriously considering an iPad. But this is a big turnoff; I'm not that worried about publications as I use a Kindle for my reading (although it would have been nice on the tablet too), but don't like where Apple is going with this.. every time I read about Apple its about some new restrictions on what you can and can't do with the product you paid for. I've never been a Mac fan but I was actually liking what I saw about the tablets, but this is just too much. I'm not saying one's better than the other, but the Androids are really popular as well, and this kind of gives other companies big incentive to move elsewhere.

Wait for Feb 9th, for Palm's WebOS Tablet presentation. I have high expectation for it, I'll probably get a 7" one with the wireless charging. I haven't felt the uncontrollable lust for something since I got a new laptop a few years ago.

The whole throwing a bitch-fit over in-app purchases that go around Apple's store is one thing. Requiring all purchasing to be done through the App via Apple's store is just ridiculous. Apple really needs to rethink this or they will lose a lot of customers.

I understand that the web based stores that add content will still be allowed, but Apple is trying to take a cut from content that is not theirs to take a cut of.

Shadrack said,
The whole throwing a bitch-fit over in-app purchases that go around Apple's store is one thing. Requiring all purchasing to be done through the App via Apple's store is just ridiculous. Apple really needs to rethink this or they will lose a lot of customers.

I understand that the web based stores that add content will still be allowed, but Apple is trying to take a cut from content that is not theirs to take a cut of.

I think it's more to do with making sure there's always the option for the end user, and that the payment experience is always the same. I know I can't be bothered with buying eBooks from kindle because its goes through Amazon and end users don't want to have to manage 5 different payment systems for their one device.

I think making sure there is a consistent payment method/experience in every app is important, they shouldn't stop them being able to use other payment methods though, but I bet you the end users would prefer to use Apple's because it's what they're used to when they buy apps anyway

DomZ said,
I think it's more to do with making sure there's always the option for the end user, and that the payment experience is always the same. I know I can't be bothered with buying eBooks from kindle because its goes through Amazon and end users don't want to have to manage 5 different payment systems for their one device.
If Apple cared about this, rather than stealing 30% of another company's revenue, then they would setup iTunes accounts to be like Paypal or Google Checkout accounts.

They have the clout to add a third option and make it viable at major retailers, as well as pushing it through the In App Purchase API for smaller companies that have no alternative (which is what the API was supposedly intended for originally). At that point it becomes a digital credit card.

However, Apple is just trying to steal a ridiculous amount from other companies. Credit cards don't even walk off with that much money, and they are the ones that cover the debt (not that they're hurting, by any means)!

pickypg said,
If Apple cared about this, rather than stealing 30% of another company's revenue, then they would setup iTunes accounts to be like Paypal or Google Checkout accounts.

People seem to think that digital distribution and payment processing is free. There are costs associated in delivering content to the user and Apple's 30% cut covers those costs.

asdavis10 said,

People seem to think that digital distribution and payment processing is free. There are costs associated in delivering content to the user and Apple's 30% cut covers those costs.


ye thats why the profit numbers of Apple are higher then any other tech companies. Microsoft has a MUCH higher income, but almost equal profit then Apple... how come.... Apple is overpriced, deal with it.

Shadowzz said,

ye thats why the profit numbers of Apple are higher then any other tech companies. Microsoft has a MUCH higher income, but almost equal profit then Apple... how come.... Apple is overpriced, deal with it.

What does "overpriced" hardware (which is what I assume you're talking about) have to do with the distribution of software? Everyone knows that Apple doesn't make much of its profit through digital distribution.

This is what will happen...... apple will force this on amazon, they will raise their price 30% to make up for it then Apple will sell the same thing through their bookstore 30% cheaper..... you know it will happen....

They will keep tightening there grip on the app store to the point that no one will want to sell things on there anymore then they will be screwed and i will laugh.

Teebor said,
The more you tighten your grip, Apple. The more customers will slip through your fingers
This happened before, when Apple wanted to tighten the market, they failed miserably and almost went bankrupt... and they werent even CLOSE to how much grip they have on the market they currently have.

thealexweb said,
I think the FCC or what ever regulator it is in the USA needs to reopen their investigations.

FCC is federal communications commission.... nothing to do with sales of books... you'd need the FTC or the DoJ to look into this

Simple solution. Since the requirement is that you offer to pay by iTunes, but you can also include other payment options, simply add the 30% markup to the iTunes payment only but not the other. Most people will take the 30% reduction by going through the other option (amazon payment or whatever).

Hackersoft MS MVP said,
Simple solution. Since the requirement is that you offer to pay by iTunes, but you can also include other payment options, simply add the 30% markup to the iTunes payment only but not the other. Most people will take the 30% reduction by going through the other option (amazon payment or whatever).

I thought that, simply place a banner over the old link that says 'Click here to buy at 30% off' But im guessing Apple rules they must be the same price. So either Amazon will have to raise prices all around, or nurse the loss themselves.

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