The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is pushing hard to bring Subscription Publishing to the iPad sooner rather than later. Whilst it is still possible that we may not see any regular subscriptions to newspapers until next year, some analysts are thinking that Apple would like to at least lay the groundwork for another stream of media revenue via its mobile device ecosystem, before the raft of “iPad Killers” hit the market from other manufacturers next year.
It is well known that Apple has granted some preferential treatment to a few high profile companies (including The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and digital magazine newsstand Zinio) to publish to the iPad, bypass Apple’s usual cut, and take consumer subscriptions directly. But by and large Apple has made most periodicals sell a retail “e-zine” as a monthly stand alone product.
One of the advantages that selling direct to consumers (i.e. you and me), and more importantly being able to solicit subscriptions directly, is that any outlet doing so keeps a treasure trove of user data to use in future marketing efforts. Apple, to date as we reported last week, has been quite protective of its users personal info, and this is still a sticking point between many publishers and Apple.
However, with Apple obviously willing to float projects that are not completely finished (like the new AppleTV) in order to grow a market place, they feel it is a vacuum waiting for either them or their rivals to expand into. Media outlets are failing dismally with their efforts to conquer (or rather kill) the free web and it seems that the potential threat of other manufacturers offering better deals to these media outlets next year, may just be enough to push these two sides together and force a deal through sooner rather than later.
It’s also possible, of course, that those media outlets think that selling to over 160 Million iTunes users is worth giving 30% of their revenues away for, and forgoing some user data. The WSJ theorizes that in any case publishers will soon find ways to get their user’s data, by simply offering incentives like free Sunday editions of their products for the keys to their personal lives!
Either way, iPad Subscriptions, and ultimately iPhone and iPod Touch subscriptions are just around the corner…
Are you looking forward to daily news deliveries to your iOS device? Or do you get that already with Mobile Safari?
Have your say in the comments…