Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has both published, and clarified its Subscription system which is linked to the iTunes AppStore; for products like digital magazines and newspapers. It was introduced with News Corp’s “The Daily”, and has now been rolled out to all publishers.
In essence the new rules simply clarify what we all thought the deal was. AAPL considers that any customer that they bring to a publisher’s door they deserve a 30% cut of the subscription fee. What they don’t want (and can’t really do) is muscle in for a share of a publisher’s revenue that comes from their own websites and outlets.
In order to ensure that everyone gets a fair deal, Apple has made it mandatory that any subscription app offering a subscription package outside the AppStore, offers the same deal via the app, using Apple’s payment system. It is then up to customers where they subscribe, and Apple get’s its cut on any that choose to do so via the AppStore. Simple!
For me it is really a no brainer what I will do, when I have my subscriber hat on.
If I buy via Apple, it costs me no more, and I get to keep all my subscriptions managed effortlessly via one interface – in one payment system. I also know that when I cancel a subscription it will stay cancelled – or at the very least I have a company I feel I will be able to approach to clear up mistakes.
There’s another upside to subscribing via Apple’s payment system. You choose whether or not your personal info goes to the magazine, as you have an opt out option. One which, again, you can trust because it’s Apple, not a publisher; large or small.
At the same time Apple has given enough ground to publishers to allow them to see the App Store as an outlet they can work with.
There is one final condition that might make publishers rankle a little bit, and that is that if they offer subscription packages outside the App Store they are not allowed to link to that one from the app directly.
Do you think Apple have been fair? Who would you rather pay for your subscriptions? Have your say in the comments…