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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