Publishers are nervous about Apple’s change of rules
February 1, 2011 by marek.miller
On 17th February, newspaper, magazine and online publishers from all over the world are meeting in London, to discuss the sudden change in the the iPad game ordered by Apple. During the six-hours long meeting, representatives of the biggest newsmedia companies will discuss how the change of §11.1 of the AppStore Review Guidance will affect them, and how can they defend their readers and themselves. This special roundtable is organised under the auspices of three worldwide media associations: INMA, OPA and FIPP.
And why do the publishers want to meet and discuss the problem all of a sudden? It is all about the sales of the content accessible via iPad apps. Since the launch of iPad publishers have developed or started to develop their own subscription models. For example they bundled access on different platforms into one subscription, so their readers could pay once for the content of their favourite newspaper and then they could access it on whatever platform they wished — in print, online, or on iPad.
And now Apple told them they all had to drop these offers and charge for iPad access separately through Apple in-app purchase feature. What’s the reason for such a policy? Apple gets 30% cut from every purchase.
Another problem is that Apple does not want to share any data about customers who make purchases through iTunes or within apps. So editors would know nothing about their readers and it would be much harder for them to respond to market’s needs and improve their newspapers’ or magazines’ contents.
Apple is using its dominant power on the tablet market not only against newspaper or magazine publishers and readers, but also against bookstore owners and book readers.
The “New York Times” revealed today that Apple is gaining speed with its decisions. It has just rejected an app for Sony Reader that allowed users to read e-books not only on their e-readers but also on their iPads. The next target might be Amazon with its popular Kindle reader app.
The more Apple is playing “Big Brother”, the more publishers are worried about what future might bring to them. As Frédéric Filloux informs on his blog, Apple’s actions gain interest of more and more public institutions. SPQN, the French National Daily Newspaper Publishers Association, backed by the French Finance Minister, is going to point Apple’s case to the antitrust institutions. In Belgium, Apple’s case has been noticed by the Ministry of Economy. Frédéric Filloux also informs, that it is highly possible that the European Commission will address to Apple’s policies.
If you wish to learn more about the roundtable of publishers in London please read the details here.